The Covid-19 pandemic has been the major phenomenon of our generation. It will be read about and taught to kids in schools, generations from now. When it comes to that, something that will be discussed at length is the holes in the medical industry exposed during this wave of death across the globe. Some countries dealt with it better; some countries were absolutely demolished by this virus.
One thing it came down to was the readiness of the medical sectors everywhere. Some governments were successful at curbing the wave by implementing stringent laws and rules; meanwhile, other countries suffered while the lawmakers were busy coming up with the right strategy to deal with the carnage.
When a pandemic forces people to lose the freedom of open contact, how can an industry like medicine and pharmaceuticals serve the people well? And that too when they are needed the most without risking their own people? These were the questions asked of the medical industry.
A lockdown forcing people to stay home also meant that people who were already sick now had to wait in long queues to get their regular medicines. People initially falling victim to the virus had no idea who to turn to.
The healthcare sector found itself to be ill-prepared for a devastating virus and pandemic of this scale. The pre-existing state of the industry meant that the practices were not enough to take care of this alarming rate of patients. It exposed the lack of proper policies, supplies, infrastructure, risk management, and supply chain management.
The supply chain equilibrium was disturbed majorly in the world because many medical supplies came to the world as a whole from China, which also happened to be the epicenter of the virus initially. This disrupted the entire balance of things, and many nations were found wanting to take care of their citizens in their time of need. Essential drugs, testing kits, and other pharmaceutical essentials were in short supply because even local manufacturing plants were shut down.
The real challenge was to curb the growth of cases and take care of the sick till the time successful vaccines were invented and distributed properly. The global supply chain of medical supplies has been in peril for a while because of the pandemic. It has only now started to shows signs of returning to normalcy since vaccines have been in regulation. Still, regardless of the best practices and vaccinations, there has been a second wave which was just as devastating.
This phase is crucial for the long-term development of hospital infrastructure since there could be an immediate need for something just as massive as another wave of the virus.
Non-urgent surgeries have already taken a backseat since hospitals need to be prepared for anything. One wrong governing move and there could be another outbreak anytime in a local area. As we’ve seen, the virus has been evolving as well, and nothing can be taken for granted.
There is one silver lining to all of this, however. Investments are being made in the sector’s development, which will stay long after the virus situation has been stabilized. Primary care and intensive care units are being developed in major hospitals. They are going to be more in number and higher in terms of functionality.
Governments have also invested heavily in developing modernized healthcare provisions such as telehealth and mobile health care, which will be very beneficial in the longer run.
It is also highly likely that we will see a wave of new technology being developed that will enhance patient care and provide people with the power to better monitor their own health standards.
Covid-19 has presented the world with problems, solutions to which were not seen as necessary or urgent. The fact that these medical supply and technology problems have to be addressed will have major benefits in the coming future.
*************This blog has been compiled by Divyanshu Gupta*************