Sharing resources in a time of scarcity
Your hospital has just received a request from a neighbouring hospital to share your supply of N95 masks. How should you respond?
First, the ethical value of solidarity. In usual times the primary commitment of a health care provider is to their patient, of a hospital to its local community and so on. But these are extraordinary times. This is a public health emergency and so those local commitments are inadequate. We have to take a broader view of the community we serve. This is solidarity in action. So, does this mean a hospital should just open its supply cabinets?
No, there are important questions to be asked of those requesting access to your organization’s supplies.
Note, the questions are practice related and forward looking. At this stage it does not matter how the other organization got to the place that is in – although you might want to congratulate the foresight and planning of your own team, what matters is what can be done now to help the community.