My fellow Texas physicians:
In many parts of our state, COVID-19 is making a terrifyingly strong return. Hospitals are activating surge plans to make room for more seriously ill patients – whether with COVID-19, other diseases, or significant trauma.
If we – and that includes physicians, hospital administrators, and other health care leaders – don’t handle this correctly, the consequences will be severe for us, our patients, and large swaths of the Texas health care system. By “handle this correctly,” I mean, we must:
- Protect ourselves and the nurses and other professionals with whom we work from coronavirus infection;
- Work closely with our hospitals to schedule admissions and procedures for those patients who need them the most;
- Utilize ambulatory surgical centers and other outpatient facilities when it is appropriate; and
- Share this simple message, over and over, with our patients, our friends, our family, the news media, and elected officials:
“Wash your hands often. Stay home if you can. Practice social distancing. And for your sake, for your neighbors’ sake, for my sake, and for your grandma’s sake, wear a mask, Texas.”
The Texas Medical Association remains in close contact with the governor’s office, the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Texas Hospital Association, and other key players in this crisis. We continue to work with state warehouse managers to bring you the personal protective equipment you need.
If Texans don’t follow safety guidelines, there will be additional spikes and surges in COVID-19 cases until a vaccine and/or effective treatment is produced. The potential for a combined coronavirus/flu outbreak this fall and winter is real, and it is as serious as it sounds.
As it has been for almost 170 years, TMA is here to represent us and to provide us the information, tools, and resources we need to weather this storm. If you have suggestions on how TMA can do that better or help fill a critical need, please send them to me via email.
Diana L. Fite, MD
Last Updated On
June 24, 2020