Coronavirus Outbreak Impact on Healthcare System

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After more than two years since the world has received the first messages about the mass infection of COVID-19, one thing has remained constant - the multifaceted nature of danger that the disease poses to human civilization. While the economic and social aspects have largely been compromised by the coronavirus as well, medical system remains the ultimate area of impact, having had suffered the most. Undoubtedly, medicine around the world has witnessed a serious downturn for the past two years or so, yet it still managed to make use of the situation and even slightly turn tables against it.

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking or talking about COVID-19 is its effect on the global healthcare system. From the economic standpoint, this effect is truly a disastrous one. As such, Alan Kaye et al. at the end of 2021 have reported hundreds of billions of losses to the healthcare system of the United States, let alone poorer countries. The economies of those have shrunk by a considerable percentage since the outbreak and continue to diminish as the virus continues to progress and mutate (Kaye et al. 293-294). The situation, however, appears to be somewhat more positive from certain other perspectives, if looked closely upon.

One recent European study conducted in Italy has demonstrated the increase of medical awareness in the society, which largely contributed to the stabilization of the capacity rates of many hospitals around the country. The researchers have conducted their study in a few large Italian cities and regions, including Venice, Lombardy, and Veneto. The researchers have found that the increase in EMS demand grew only in the immediate aftermath of the outbreak and, by February 2020, almost stabilized to its prior level (Stella et al. 298-299). This inevitably leads to the conclusion that due to the pandemic, people have become more aware of their well-being and started looking more closely into their state. This in turn largely contributed to the increase of emergency departments capacity that were able to direct their effort to those who required urgent medical attention, including those uninfected with the coronavirus.

As medical technology progresses, the new pandemic has managed to stimulate this growth and bring its certain aspects up to a new level. One of the most evident areas in this regard is telemedicine, which has experienced an apparent growth over the past few years. At the very beginning of the pandemic, the World Health Organization made a call to action, addressing medical systems around the world to use all facilities available to carry out their duties during the hard times of the new unknown disease (Ohannessian, Duong, and Odone e18810). This address has been taken quite seriously, with several areas of medicine responding rather positively and promoting telemedicine to this day.

One of the most progressive directions in this regard appears to be psychology. As of July 2020, the reports state that the new coronavirus pandemic stimulates psychotherapy and psychiatry to evolve in the most diverse ways. Aside from the general precautions regarding social distancing, therapists and practicing psychiatric specialists have managed to take a grasp of the capabilities of modern technology in their practice. Bojdani et al. report that because of the social and economic tensions that occurred due to the pandemic, the psychiatrists around the United States had an opportunity to study their subjects with greater intensity and practice more efficiently (Bojdani et al. 113069). Similar results have also been reported for ophthalmology, with many specialists in the area providing that with the increased demand in telemedicine, the quality of their practice improving as well (De Lott et al. 231). The increase in at least two medical areas simultaneously, thus, brings additional hope for the future of global healthcare.

Although the coronavirus pandemic hit the world’s healthcare system quite hard, it also managed to bring in some positive points as well. In times that call for an urgent response, many things seem to develop at faster rates, driving the overall progress further ahead. Indeed, many lives have been lost to the disease so far, yet that sacrifice has managed to help numerous specialists around the world to practice their craft better and use all tools available at their disposal.

Works Cited

Bojdani, Ermal et al. "COVID-19 Pandemic: Impact On Psychiatric Care In The United States". Psychiatry Research, vol 289, 2020, p. 113069. Elsevier BV, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113069. Accessed 24 Jan 2022.

De Lott, Lindsey B. et al. "Change In Ophthalmic Clinicians' Attitudes Toward Telemedicine During The Coronavirus 2019 Pandemic". Telemedicine And E-Health, vol 27, no. 2, 2021, pp. 231-235. Mary Ann Liebert Inc, https://doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2020.0222. Accessed 24 Jan 2022.

Kaye, Alan D. et al. "Economic Impact Of COVID-19 Pandemic On Healthcare Facilities And Systems: International Perspectives". Best Practice & Research Clinical Anaesthesiology, vol 35, no. 3, 2021, pp. 293-306. Elsevier BV, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpa.2020.11.009. Accessed 24 Jan 2022.

Ohannessian, Robin et al. "Global Telemedicine Implementation And Integration Within Health Systems To Fight The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Call To Action". JMIR Public Health And Surveillance, vol 6, no. 2, 2020, p. e18810. JMIR Publications Inc., https://doi.org/10.2196/18810. Accessed 24 Jan 2022.

Stella, Federica et al. "Impact Of The COVID-19 Outbreak On Emergency Medical System Missions And Emergency Department Visits In The Venice Area". European Journal Of Emergency Medicine, vol 27, no. 4, 2020, pp. 298-300. Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), https://doi.org/10.1097/mej.0000000000000724. Accessed 24 Jan 2022.

May 09, 2022
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