Results of RACP Australian member survey on PPE

Date published:
13 Aug 2020

The RACP recently distributed a voluntary survey to all practising Australian based members on their use of and access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), with 677 responses received.

Key findings include:

  • 20 per cent of full-time public hospital based members are reporting as having to source their own PPE.
  • Approximately 45 per cent of respondents say they have limited or no access to N95/P2 masks for their needs. Almost 11 per cent have no access.
  • Approximately 22 per cent of respondents across all settings say they have either limited (18.7 per cent) or no (3.5 per cent) access to surgical masks.
  • 13.3 per cent of respondents working as full-time public hospital employees reported limited or no access to surgical masks compared to more than half of full-time private practitioners. Almost a quarter of respondents working as full-time private practitioners have had to privately source some of their PPEs from overseas.
  • More than 40 per cent of respondents who have reported having to privately source their own PPE say they will need alternative sources of supply due to shortages or price increases from their current sources. The equivalent figure for full-time private practitioners is approximately 70 per cent.
  • Less than 61 per cent of respondents reported having had recent workplace training in the use of PPE. The share of respondents reporting recent workplace training was slightly higher in Victoria (67.1 per cent).

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On 10 August 2020, the survey was launched on the front page of The Age newspaper and continued to generate media coverage with mentions in over 220 online articles, 200 radio and 200 TV hits.

Online media

The RACP story generated 220 online media mentions including syndicated publications. Some of the highlights include:

  • The Age
  • The Sydney Morning Herald
  • Brisbane Times
  • Daily Mail UK
  • Daily Telegraph
  • The Advertiser
  • The Herald Sun
  • The New Daily
  • SBS
  • Newcastle Herald
  • Illawarra Mercury
  • Yahoo 7 News
  • 3AW online
  • 2GB online
  • ABC News online.


The story had 200 radio hits including interviews with RACP President John Wilson that were syndicated. Highlights include interviews on:

  • ABC NewsRadio National
  • ABC AM
  • 3AW interview

and interviews for news bulletins on:

  • 2SM
  • WSFM
  • Gold FM
  • Triple M
  • over 30 ABC local and regional stations.


The RACP PPE story had 203 TV hits. The TV highlights include:

  • A press conference in Melbourne with Channel 7, Channel 9, Channel 10 and the ABC
  • Many of these stations syndicated across different national, state, regional and local TV stations
  • The Project interview on Channel 10
  • A live Sky News interview
  • Today Show morning live interview.


The RACP’s call to governments

Access to appropriate PPE during the COVID-19 outbreak for all RACP members on the frontlines of healthcare service delivery has been and remains a top advocacy priority for the RACP.

We are urging governments to:

  • Commit to a target of zero occupationally acquired healthcare worker COVID-19 infections.
  • Ensure PPE frontline health care workers have access to necessary PPE (in public and private hospitals as well as residential aged care settings).
  • Ensure physicians and paediatricians working in private practice in the community can access the National Medical Stockpile for their PPE requirements.
  • Provide transparent information about reserves in the National Medical Stockpile, including by jurisdiction.
  • Report nationally and by jurisdiction on health care workers testing positive to COVID-19 by jurisdiction, age group, occupation, primary workplace, and whether the infection was occupationally acquired.
  • Extend PPE requirement for the use of N95 masks to aged-care facilities.

Show your support by engaging with our call on Twitter and Instagram.

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