While shoppers are being told not to hoard supplies, rural doctors don't want city health authorities hoarding important life-saving equipment like ventilators either.
Rural Doctors Association of Australia president Dr John Hall today said all health care providers need to share the available resources.
"We've been asking shoppers not to hoard supplies, and the same goes for hospitals," Dr Hall said.
"We need the state hospitals to work with their local GPs to help them continue to provide care in their practices... if that means providing them with PPE, then do it.
"Private hospitals are also sitting on a supply of PPE as part of their operating theatre capacity, but is that where we really need it at this very moment? I think not.
"The need for ventilators will not just be in cities it will be in rural towns as well. There are many GP Anaesthetists who have the skills to provide care to these patients in their rural hospitals,"
Ventilators are see as a primary weapon in the fight to treat people with coronavirus as it attacks the lungs.
There are believed to be about 50 ventilators in the whole of the Territory.
"We know retrieval services will be under significant pressure and having local access to ventilators is going to be key to giving rural patients quality care and the best outcome possible," Dr Hall said.
"Rural communities cannot be left behind. Patients should not be disadvantaged just because they live in the bush," Dr Hall said.
"Governments across all states, as well as federally, need to make sure that adequate supplies and equipment are allocated to keep our rural general practices and hospitals able to provide care throughout the coming crisis."
Australia is building towards about 10,000 ventilators for intensive care in the coronavirus crisis, a significant boost on the standing capacity in intensive care units around the country of about 2300.
NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner earlier in the month said there were about 30 ventilators across the Territory although this number has since been upgraded to about 50 by the Health Department.
The Australia and New Zealand Intensive Care Society surveyed capacity across the country on March 7, when the nation's 191 intensive care units had 2300 intensive care beds with ventilators, president Anthony Holley said.
Hospitals had the capacity to boost numbers by about 500 very quickly. And they could ramp up to about 5000 by harnessing ventilators used in other areas of hospitals, including operating theatres, and by setting up intensive care in coronary care spaces, post-operative areas, and unfunded or decommissioned areas, and would require staff and other equipment.
"If we surge beyond 100 per cent it could be challenging at the current time," Dr Holley said. "But there are an enormous number of strategies to get more ventilators and we as a society feel confident that the government is doing absolutely everything it can to get those ventilators."
Health Minister Greg Hunt said Chief Scientist Alan Finkel was working to source new Australian-made ventilators, which Mr Hunt said could add 5000 more "invasive and non-invasive respiratory and ventilator units".
Parliament was told this week that an order had been with Melbourne firm ResMed for 1000 invasive ventilators, and four firms had stepped in to help with producing "non-invasive" ventilators - ResMed, GE, Philips and Medtronic.
Australian Medical Association vice president Dr Chris Zappala said COVID-19 patients who needed ventilation typically spent about two weeks on the machine.
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