Nearly half of UK doctors surveyed by the British Medical Association said they had to buy their own personal protective equipment or rely on donations during the coronavirus epidemic.

The BMA, a trade union for British doctors, said it surveyed 16,000 doctors in the UK, asking them about access to PPE, their well-being and drug shortages.

The UK government has long been criticized for failing to provide enough adequate protective equipment for the National Health Service (NHS).

The latest PPE controversy came on Thursday, when it emerged that a much touted delivery of around 400,000 surgical gowns ordered by the government from Turkey in mid-April was never distributed among NHS workers because it did not meet British safety standards.

Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, the chair of the BMA Council, said in a news release:

On the one-hand it shows how resourceful they have been and how much support there has been from the general public in providing kit; but far more importantly, it is a damning indictment of the Government’s abject failure to make sure healthcare workers across the country are being supplied with the life-saving kit they should be.