The coronavirus global health crisis is still cruising forward at an alarming rate. Available data from the WHO shows that as of August 6, 2020, the disease has infected more than 18 million people worldwide. Globally, the number of COVID-19-related deaths is over 696 thousand. The world’s healthcare industry has been tested to the limits, and here is how the Coronavirus global pandemic is affecting healthcare access. The WHO has defined primary healthcare as a holistic approach that ensures that all people receive comprehensive healthcare services. Although primary healthcare is a basic human right, the coronavirus crisis has strained the global healthcare system beyond its carrying capacity. This has affected people’s access to primary care provisions.
Expectant Mothers Are Living in Uncertainty
Due to social-distancing protocols, healthcare workers try to avoid making physical contact with patients. And this is a big problem for expectant mothers who are in dire need of good prenatal care. Pregnant women are supposed to be going for regular medical check-ups, but due to the high risks associated with large gatherings, expectant mothers are forced to stay at home, when they should be going for regular screening. For instance, within the first 4 to 28 weeks of their gestation period, pregnant women are supposed to receive at least one check-up each month. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically reduced the number of prenatal check-ups to just one in 3 months. This is a cause of concern for the well-being of expectant mothers.
Cancellation of Medical Appointments
In the wake of the pandemic, doctors have had to cancel one-on-one appointments, and resort to telemedicine. When doctors close their offices and switch to telemedicine, the healthcare industry won’t remain the same. Telemedicine can foster remote communication between doctors and patients. But it certainly cannot take the laboratories along. The coronavirus impact on dental practice value is another good example. Dentists are also closing their doors.
In the United Kingdom, the cancellation of doctor’s appointments has left many patients fearing for their lives. People who have to undergo elective surgery procedures feel like they are running out of time. Consequently, community deaths (probably not related to COVID-19) are spiking in many regions across the world. In COVID-19 hotspots like France, Italy and the USA, astronomical deaths have overwhelmed the healthcare systems.
Scientists are still racking their brains in the lab looking for an effective cure to COVID-19. While significant progress has been made in the race to produce a vaccine, lock-downs have also hindered people from obtaining other vaccines. Because the world is so focused on the SARS-COV-2 virus disease, that has blinded health organizations from prioritizing other dangerous viruses that affect children. The sad news is that immunization of children has gone down drastically, leading experts to think that another outbreak can result from people missing essential vaccines.
The healthcare industry is in a state of chaos as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. People with non-communicable diseases like cancer, diabetes, and cardiac problems, are now forced to live without adequate medical attention as many doctor’s surgeries and healthcare services have been forced to remain closed. In response to the developments, WHO director Tedros called on countries to make special arrangements for non-communicable patients to receive essential medical services.