Five lessons our health care system should learn from Covid-19 pandemic

File photo.

Dr Subash Pyakurel

  • Read Time 3 min.

Adversity and curiosity are said to be the best university. No other phenomenon can guide us better. To connect this to the current hardship imposed by Covid-19, not even a single individual has been left unaffected. In short, this has markedly devastated health, wealth and social aspects of citizens, community and country. Nevertheless, there is always a silver lining in black cloud. Likewise, tough time teaches us to flourish once the distress is over. Needless to repeat, war-hit countries have the track record of not only compensating the tough situation but also progressing in much accelerated pace at the aftermath. The only part is whether we change the channel of our mind slightly to think rightly or just take things lightly.

Five lessons

History of the existence of healthcare inevitably is closely connected with history of the existence of human beings. Since its inception, one of the fundamental theories of healthcare is to remain prepared for the worst possible scenario. In an emergency room, doctors, nurses and the team should be prepared to handle a huge disaster and mass casualties in any point of time. That is what this occupation is meant for. Preparedness for not only small-sized outbreaks but also the pandemic like Covid-19 should have been kept ready. However, it is never too late to start better ideas. On a backdrop of history and mystery of Covid series, this realization is more meaningful. Preparation for final exam can help class assessment but not vice versa. Let’s start planning the way now onward.

The second lesson is that integrated healthcare system is the ultimate solution. There is no convincing answer for a simple question: ‘Which healthcare model does our country follow?’ In the same way, we have not started policy-hitting multi-faceted debate on dynamics of our healthcare system. Existence of line ministry and councils won’t be enough in this regard. What is required is their promising action. If we see global scenario and the practices of remarkable countries, public centric complete healthcare system means ‘integrated, interoperable, IT based recording and referralsystemtopped by insurance coverage’. In other words, healthcare providers are networked in an interconnected system with timely flow of pertinent information and synergized service to the service takers. The system indeed should hit whole ecosystem of treatment process starting from call centers, network of quality ambulance and treatment series with short possible turn-around-time. Per say, system has to be created from the perspective of a patient. Wouldn’t that have made easier in searching ICU beds, reaching hospital and getting timely treatment? Thanks to Covid, it’s a big lesson-learnt.

Integrated healthcare system is the ultimate solution. Existence of line ministry and councils won’t be enough. What is required is promising

Third, cost is as crucial as care and cure. Treatment-takers have to be graced with a consumer-based approach respecting their right. In our context, public are not always able to talk about their right and even cannot find out what is wrong and what is right. It’s the politicians, policy makers and professionals who should think on consumers’ behalf. If the price for the rest of goods and services has been standardized, this is obvious that the cost of healthcare service and goods should also be predefined.

Fourth, regulation should be a regular topic. As healthcare is apparently associated with life, the service should be guarded by utmost vigilance and regulation on a regular basis with more advanced information technology. Even if not, recording, reporting and rating should be done through standard quality control check list. In the current scenario, Covid has unveiled the real picture of profound lacking in this specific area.

Fifth, health insurance means public assurance. Insurance means assurance and a workable tool of risk mitigation by financial coverage. Collecting small amount of money from larger size of population regularly can be of huge help in compensating large amount of money to smaller size of population at the time of urgency. If we had made our health insurance robust, such kind of pandemic affecting fraction of people in periodic trend could have been addressed more effectively. Taking Covid pandemic as a long term mentor, health insurance system should be made impactful and scientific with speedy compensation of hospital bill in cashless modality.

Collecting a small amount of money from a larger size of the population regularly can be of huge help in compensating a large amount of money to a smaller size of the population at the time of

In addition to the health service side, Covid has disclosed some social dynamics that are to be complemented from the public end. No other side will work on this agenda. The first point is endurance capacity should be excelled to overcome adversity. The second point is fact and science leads to improved conscience. Likewise, discipline is the best self-help. In the same way, culture of crowd is never a matter to feel proud about. We all should realize it in a real sense.