Made in Canada PPE.

Local companies Design Plastics International, Market Brewing Co., and NewMakeIt have all jumped on board to modify their operations to make PPE for frontline workers.

Waiting is the hardest part.

The federal government has said it is working tirelessly to procure as much personal protective equipment (PPE) as efficiently as possible to make available to front-line workers, but a month and a half after COVID-19 invaded local communities and the public consciousness, health-care workers are wondering when the promised equipment will make it to hospitals.

“What I'm trying to do... is make sure we have an efficient system. It’s a very collaborative table,” federal Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand said.

Currently, the federal government is procuring PPE in bulk both domestically and internationally. Once received, it is then given to each provincial government to distribute within their province as they see fit.

“Once it is received, it is taken to the public health agency’s warehouses and it distributed to the provinces after it has been inspected and cleared by public health,” she said. “Provinces are also procuring PPE. There are a number of organizations and governments that are in the market for PPE.”

Some Newmarket companies have made commitments to make smaller batches of PPE locally, including Market Brewing making hand sanitizer, and Design Plastic International and NewMakeIt making face shields.

What is unclear is whether the supply chain is moving fast enough.

The Canadian Medical Association surveyed nearly 2,500 doctors across Canada recently. The survey found 42 per cent had seen no change in the supply of gear such as masks and face shields in the last month, while 29 per cent felt the supply is now worse.

On the flip side, 22 per cent say there's been some improvement to the PPE supply, but only six per cent say it's been a significant change.

Southlake Regional Health Centre is posting online its PPE use and supply status, with some surgical masks, isolation gowns, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes dropping to an anticipated five to 14 days supply. 

The Newmarket hospital continues to actively seek donations of PPE equipment from manufacturers and the community.

Article By: Newmarket Today

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