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  • COVID-19 will improve health care in the future in a big way

    Published on July 11, 2020

    New Delhi: Although the current epidemic of COVID -19 has caused unprecedented loss to life and economy, several long-term positive effects are being seen in many fields including the health care sector.

    According to health experts, COVID-19 had a crippling effect on the health care systems around the world with the cancellation of elective medical services and disruption of daily life but several positives have also come out of it like the effective use of telemedicine, the importance of personal hygiene, and infection control.

    COVID-19 pandemic has also offered some unique opportunities for the healthcare sector. It has allowed us to revisit healthcare delivery. Rationalizing and optimizing the available resources during such a crisis are some of the most important lessons learned from this crisis. The telemedicine revolution will be a vital factor in delivering health care in the future. The virtual means of teaching, educating, and sharing knowledge has now become popular and acceptable. The research and publications have also seen a significant rise during these difficult times, said Professor (Dr.) Raju Vaishya, Senior Orthopaedic Surgeon at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, who has himself authored more than 100 scientific papers in various reputed international and national medical journals, during this pandemic.

    The global lockdown during this pandemic has given a unique opportunity to the researchers and clinicians to complete their pending paper publications and research works. There have been an unprecedented number of publications during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic across all the medical journals of the world, with 3-4 folds submissions. This positive trend might continue in the future and help the healthcare industry to benefit from these research and innovations, including finding effective means of dealing with future epidemics and pandemics.

    Prof. (Dr.) Raju Vaishya and his research colleagues Prof. (Dr.) Raju Vaishya, senior orthopaedic surgeon at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Dr. Karthikeyan Iyengar, senior orthopaedic at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital,  Dr. Ahmed Mabrouk and Dr. Vijay Kumar Jain from Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust, Southport, UK , Dr, Aakaash Venkatesan, Clinical Fellow in Trauma and Orthopaedics, University Hospital Llandough, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff, Wales and Dr. Abhishek Vaish, Orthopaedic Surgeon at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi have undertaken a comprehensive review of the current literature to analyze the consequences of COVID-19 on the health care system. They found that there has been a shared drive worldwide to devise strategies to protect people against viral transmission with reinforcement of hand hygiene and infection control principles but also to provide continuity of health care. Virtual and remote technologies have been increasingly used in health care management.

    In their recently published research paper in Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, authors said that COVID – 19 will bring several positive changes in healthcare including improvement in the delivery of health care and acute care, out-patient services-delivery, health care infrastructure, greater investment for healthcare, patient perception and factors and medical education. According to the authors, COVID 19 has exposed the health care system of many countries including India. In India, the public health-care system in grossly underfunded and patchy while the private health-care sector is unregulated. The Indian government’s expenditure on health as a percentage of GDP is around 1.3%. There are several gaps in India’s preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic could be the much-needed wake-up call to the necessity of long-term changes to India’s health. Recently taking into account during pandemic the Indian government has increased expenditure in the public health system to reboot healthcare. The government has launched an ambitious project ‘aatma nirbhar bharat’ to become more self-reliant with investment in acquiring and building lifesaving equipment like PPE, ventilators, building hospital infrastructure, ICU beds, the oxygen supply in hospitals, strengthening of laboratories, hiring of additional human resources which were scarce before the pandemic. All these actions should improve the health care system and facilities in India.

    COVID – 19 will bring telemedicine revolution in the future. During COVID-19 pandemic organizations have accepted that telemedicine has a key role, developed their departments to facilitate telemedicine. Current and evolving telecommunication technologies play a key role in the exchange of valid information for diagnosis and management of diseases and injuries. The main modalities for remote consultations include telephone consultations, virtual fracture clinics, and video consultations. Face to face consultation is common in India and has and has its own drawback. Recently Telemedicine or delivery of health care services using information or communication technology is evolved in India due to COVID Telemedicine set to transform healthcare in a post-COVID-19 world. When the pandemic will end, doctors will prefer to see patients directly, but at the same time due to increased experience in telemedicine will help them to see patient if they skip the doctors’ visits.

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