The ongoing crisis has brought the entire world to a standstill. While we have been trying our best to emerge victoriouslyṣ, it is important to take note of all the flaws in our various industries that this crisis has exposed. People are now realizing that a lot of changes need to be made in several key industries, especially healthcare.
The crisis that took more than 4 lakhs lives worldwide has had its biggest impact on healthcare and here is how the industry is expected to change in the next few years:
Stockpiling Medical Supplies
Countless global catastrophic events over several hundred years have motivated countries to keep a stockpile of essential commodities. The practice of maintaining such stockpiles increased in light of the world wars when all countries realized that not maintaining a decent stock of food and other necessities within their boundaries, could be fatal for the population.
As the global economy developed, the practice of stockpiling has gone down over the past few decades. This is mainly because many countries felt that in a globalized world, almost anything can be made available when needed. This crisis, however, has definitely changed the notion.
Global supply chains have been completely shattered due to economies across the globe shutting down their borders. In this scenario, it’s become difficult for several countries to bring in necessary commodities from outside. When the crisis passes, several countries are going to create a strategic stockpile of medical equipment to be prepared for such scenarios in the future.
Healthcare equipment Manufacturing will accelerate
Though it shouldn’t have happened, most of the pharmaceutical industry had fallen prey to the market forces before this pandemic struck. This has led to a decline in Research and Development work of medicines and vaccines that could help people fight many common diseases.
Manufacturing of essential medical equipment, too, was not being pursued on a high scale. Most manufacturers are focusing more on producing tried and tested drugs and equipment that were in high demand in the market. Not to mention that many pharmaceutical manufacturers had shifted bases to enter into other medical fields.
This pandemic has brought to light the necessity of these organizations to continue with large scale manufacturing of medical equipment while also promoting their R&D to find cures for common diseases.
It has become necessary for governments to intervene in the healthcare manufacturing sector and ensure that the sector works without being influenced by forces of profit and loss. A greater public control of this sector via the hands of not for profit organizations is one way in which governments are likely to head to make sure that there is a fluid supply of essential equipment.
Establishing a UHC
One of the most important ways to fight this pandemic or any such event in the future is to ensure that the public at large is in good health. Countries that have a track record of having a healthcare system that is accessible by all sections of the society have performed better than countries where there were large disparities in the people who could access good healthcare. An important developed industry after all of this could be the adaptation of a Universal Health Coverage system across the countries.
This seems to be the need of the hour mainly because it will help in improving the health of the people and making it easier for them to survive future outbreaks. With the climate crisis, these outbreaks are predicted to increase as the years go by and it will be important that when they hit the surface, people have access to good healthcare no matter their economic prowess.
The economic loss caused in the last couple of months has proved that if that amount was invested into developing a UHC, more people would have survived, and the economic losses would also have been averted to a great extent.
Increase in the number of Online Pharmacies
People all across the world have been staying inside their homes for a couple of months now. While we are battling this pandemic, it is easy to forget that many people are suffering from other diseases at the same time.
Patients suffering from various diseases have found it quite difficult to get the prescribed medications that they need to treat their condition. Mainly because they are more vulnerable to the virus and it’s important that they don’t venture out even to their local pharmacies. This has led many such people to turn towards online medicine delivery.
Online pharmacies allow you to order almost any medication you require and it will be delivered safely right to your doorstep. It is highly likely that this will become mainstream when the crisis ends. Exactly why online pharmacies are expected to grow at a very large rate over the next few years.
When all of this blows over, it will be interesting to see how the healthcare industry adapts to these new changes that need to be made in order to make fighting off future crises similar to this one, a bit easier.