HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS: ANALYSIS FOR FUTURE PREPAREDNESS

HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS: ANALYSIS FOR FUTURE PREPAREDNESS

The past century of human evolution has been ebb and flow. The industrial revolution touched every aspect of human growth and at the same time deteriorated the quality of human life exponentially. Even though human life expectancy has grown in numbers but it is unhealthy. Infectious diseases and epidemics are not new to the human race. We witnessed some major infectious diseases like Black death (Bubonic Plague), smallpox, Spanish flu, Asian Flu, Swine Flu, Cholera outbreak, HIV/AIDS, Nipah Virus, Ebola Virus, and many more. These diseases cause countless deaths in the past decades and served as warning signs to the governments of different countries that we need to be prepared for the worse.Humans are greedy and exploit nature. We often forget that nature can flip the coin and change the directions at any given moment. The pandemic of 2020 was an unexpected and sudden health crisis that caused a disaster in the world. The governments had very little time to think and act. Before much researches could occur, a lot of people lost their lives to the virus. The pandemic reflected the lacunae in healthcare systems of different countries and explicitly presented how our world lacked in providing basic healthcare facilities to the masses.This pandemic tested the capacity of healthcare facilities to care for patients and protecting health workers at the same time. Some countries responded quickly and successfully limited the spread of coronavirus whereas some countries failed miserably. Even the world’s greatest democracy –the United States of America was not prepared for the pandemic and topped the charts of deaths for a very long time. Analyzing the healthcare systems of a few countries, we can draw a comparison and understand what lacunae were pertinent and what solutions can be presented. Taiwan government implemented their epidemic response plan very quickly only after 100 cases were detected as they were prepared after the 2003 – SARS outbreak. They prepared body-heat sensors to detect the temperature, enforced quarantines, and used cell phone applications to track user data. The UK on the other hand struggled due to a large outbreak. Even though UK’s expenditure on the health care system is ranked near the top for pandemic preparedness by the Global Health Security Index, the country suffered because of more patients and less equipment and beds. Australia had one of the best plans and they were prepared by shifting many private equipment and beds to public and running mass free tests, enforcing strict lockdowns. The USA on the other hand was not ready even though every citizen in the USA spends $10000 annually on the healthcare plans and insurance. India could not curb the virus either and the health care system failed massively because of fewer beds, tests, and equipment.While we faced a crisis to learn that a lot of healthcare systems are not equipped to cater public’s needs during a mass crisis, it created an opportunity to grow in terms of administration, and policies, and enhancing the facilities.To curb the issues, governments need to invest heavy amounts in medical care and making treatments accessible and affordable for the masses. The ones who do not have private insurance or medi-claims suffer. Even though one has private insurance, companies often deny the claims because of many factors. The capacity of government-subsidized or paid hospitals is also less. So, the investment in public insurance and providing the claims or subsidies on the treatment is necessary. Also, investment in equipment, beds, and ventilators is required so that such epidemics or disasters could be managed anytime. Mental health is another key factor that is disrupted during these times. Australia is one country that pays for its citizens’ first 10 sessions with the therapist. It is a feasible policy and similar policies should be incorporated by all the countries, keeping in mind that 2020 reiterated the importance of mental health. As humanity is evolving and exploiting the nature, we need to maintain our conduct and stop our greedy actions and at the same time get prepared for another pandemic if we continue the same course for a long time. Nevertheless, healthcare systems should be prepared in all scenarios.

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