A Review Article on Impact of Coronavirus Disease on Patients in the Health Care Setting: A Tale or Reality
Main Article Content
Background: Coronavirus disease had a devastating effect on the World, with significant disruption in healthcare, the burgeoning impact is still unfolding. The inequities and fragilities amongst nations particularly low and medium economic countries whose patients are dependent on out of pocket expenditure to access healthcare, has occasioned varied consequence of the pandemic on patients in the health care setting and it has reshaped how health care is practiced.
Aims: The aim of this review article was to assess the impact of Coronavirus disease on health care utilization by non -COVID patient during the pandemic.
Methods: The review article was carried out with a search engine focused on articles related to impact of Coronavirus disease published between December 2019 till date, which were identified and reviewed.
Conclusion: The review article gave an insight to the significant disruptions in health care services amongst patients witnessed across countries of the world, the disparities in the disruptions were due to heterogeneity amongst nations, national policies and health policies during the pandemic and the socioeconomic realities that ensued. Outpatient services witnessed varying reduction across the globe ranging between 30-50%. Sub-Saharan Africa witnessed disruption as much as 50% depending on load of COVID-19 infection amongst populace. The reason for the interruptions across the world was the fear of contracting the disease, access to health care setting due to lock down and shortage of health care personnel, in addition in sub-Saharan Africa, the economic down turn occasioned by the pandemic reduced household income which in turn reduced expenditure on health since most countries were dependent on out of pocket expenditure to fund health care services.
In-patient care was also not spared of the disruptions witnessed even though emergency care was prioritized. Overall, there was a reported reduction in admissions for respiratory diseases due to non- pharmacological measures aimed at stemming COVID-19 infection which was equally effective for other respiratory diseases. In some countries like United States the reduction in hospital admissions was paralleled by increasing mortality particularly amongst Hispanic blacks as more acute and severe cases were deemed to have presented for admissions. Surgical priority was maintaining emergency services and prioritization of cancer care, there was a measurable reduction in surgical procedures as elective surgeries were postponed or cancelled. Most laparoscopic and endoscopic procedures were cancelled because of the perceived notion that they are aerosol generating and could increase transmission of COVID-19 infection from asymptomatic carriers, however US jettisoned cancellation of its surgical procedures after 35 days considering that it could not cope. The psychosocial impact of the pandemic and health care access spiraled into increasing anxiety and depression for both health care workers and patients, while the fear of stigmatization was rife from contracting the disease.
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