The need for Strategic Reserve
“It is better to have and not need, than to need and not have.”
So goes the popular saying, and it has never been more true than during the present time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Presently, there is a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies for doctors, nurses, law enforcement and other frontline personnel. We should prevent this from happening again.
The function of Strategic Reserve
Strategic Reserve, in this case medical, is a stockpile of life-saving pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and supplies for use in a public health emergency that is severe enough to cause the current inventories to run out. It exists to support any public health threat. Strategic Reserve staff include several specialties who work together to ensure the right resources are ready and get to the right place at the right time.
How to establish a Strategic Reserve in Bermuda
The Strategic Reserve could be a public-private partnership between the Government of Bermuda and the local private organizations involved in healthcare logistics. This initiative would be an extension of the already existing public-private collaboration in healthcare.
Likely use scenarios
Strategic Reserve would respond to the following scenarios:
- Epidemics and pandemics such as influenza, SARS, MERS, H1N1, Zika, Ebola and COVID-19
- Acts of bioterrorism involving botulism, anthrax, smallpox, plague, viral hemorrhagic fevers, and tularemia
- Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis
We suggest a meeting between public and private stakeholders to take place as soon as practicable.