Thanks to State Donation, Texas Medical Association Passes out Millions of Masks

TMA has passed out more than 2 million masks to doctors across the state

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While personal protective equipment is more available, it's still difficult and expensive for private physicians to get a hold of.

It's a reality the Texas Medical Association and other medical societies are aware of and in the process of helping out doctors across the state.

The organization says, in September, it received 13 tractor-trailers filled with more than 6 million masks from the Texas Division of Emergency Management and Gov. Abbott's Supply Chain Strike Force.

"On behalf of all the physicians in Texas, and our Texas Medical Association, we were surprised and thrilled and have been able to put them in very good use," said Dr. Diana Fite, president of the Texas Medical Association.

"We've had surveys going out to all the physicians. Now, the majority of Texas physicians are members of the Texas Medical Association, even the ones who aren't members are getting the information about the surveys on who needs what," said Fite.

She said they're sending personal protective equipment out daily and physicians only have to pay for shipping.

The masks include N95, KN95 and surgical masks and TMA has passed out more than 2.7 million so far to 1,065 physicians.

"It was like Christmas morning is, I was pleasantly surprised," said Dr. Manvinder Kainth with Maple Primary Care in Plano, who received a shipment. "I got at least a dozen boxes and each box has 20 masks in it, and honestly that's huge."

She said at the beginning of the pandemic, like many other physicians, she was scrambling to get PPE.

“it's more readily available. We're able to get our hands on it but when we are usually we're limited in how much quantity we can get at one time and the expense is honestly a lot, or an independent physician or a small practice," said Kainth.

She said before the pandemic she would get 10 masks for about $15, but now it costs about $120.

“I just want to thank the Texas Medical Association and the Collin County Medical Society, both of them have been instrumental in providing and PPE for us physicians in the society. All of us who are not tied to a hospital organization have to struggle for these kinds of things and it costs a lot of money, so when we have support by the organizations that we are part of. It's something that really makes a difference," said Kainth.

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