Gov. Mike DeWine
[Office of Gov. Mike DeWine]

Manual on Allocating Scarce Resources Circulating Among Ohio Hospitals

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The Ohio Hospital Association has sent out its guidelines for allocating scarce resources, detailing what medical staff should do if they don’t have the equipment they need to treat patients with COVID-19.

The Ohio Hospital Association’s guidelines are now circulating among its members and the group is taking input.

Gov. Mike DeWine says the guidance is good to have but says he’s determined to make sure the state is never in that situation. He says that is why Ohio has been so aggressive with social distancing, to build up enough resources and lower the peak of COVID-19.

“I wake up every day with the determination and go to bed every night and work all day that we never get there. We do not want to be what we’ve seen on TV, not blaming anybody, but we don’t want to be in that position,” says DeWine.

He says guidelines on who gets care when resources are scarce should not be created by politicians, but by medical and ethics experts.

DeWine has said the state has two major steps in its overall response to COVID-19, prevent the spread of the virus and build up enough capacity for when the peak of the virus hits Ohio.

The state has been looking to buy as much personal protection equipment and other medical gear as it can. Ohio has also turned to manufacturers to see if they can collaborate to donate or make the items they need.

“So we don’t have that situation where life and death decisions have to be made because there’s a scarcity of something, so we’re not going to get there. It’s not going to happen,” DeWine says.

DeWine was asked if the state government has the authority to create a statewide order for guidelines on scarce resources. DeWine said he wasn’t sure but added that the Ohio Hospital Association circulating its guidelines and asking for comment seems to be a good process.