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< Back to question What lasting impact will COVID-19 have on the U.S. healthcare industry? Show more Show less

The healthcare industry has remained relatively the same even in the face of digital transformation and wider societal change. For example, most doctors still use pagers which were first invented in 1928! However, during COVID-19, the entire healthcare system was put to the test. In many parts of the country, essential equipment such as ventilators and N95 masks were running low. Doctors and nurses were working overtime but they were denied hazard pay. Many challenges during this time revealed intricate flaws within the system. There is bound to be massive reform in the industry following the pandemic.

Many hospitals and clinics might face moderate to severe financial hardships Show more Show less

During COVID-19, hospitals began to make massive equipment purchases. Ventilators, an increase in ICU facilities, protective gear, and overtime payments for all healthcare personnel added up to become hefty sums for the healthcare industry. In the aftermath of the pandemic, many hospitals and clinics are going to face financial challenges and might need government intervention.
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Efforts to reduce expenses in clinics and small hospitals will be taken

As the COVID-19 pandemic makes funds and resources scarce in the United States, hospitals and clinics must make restrictive efforts to conserve resources and continue running.
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Proponents


The Argument

As hospitals struggle financially and have difficulty acquiring the medical resources they need due to COVID-19, they are forced to ration resources and make budget and equipment cuts. Efforts to conserve money and equipment are widespread and varied, but almost every healthcare clinic has been forced to do so during the pandemic. A major effort to cut back and save resources is the restriction of testing, Many states, including California and New York, have issued mandates that only people showing very obvious and intense symptoms should be tested.[1] This is to conserve tests for those in extreme need due to a large shortage of tests. However, restricted testing means many cases go unnoticed and lead to more spreading of the virus. Healthcare professionals are put in a tough position and forced to conserve. Other efforts to reduce expenses and save resources have worked as creative solutions, but unfortunately, most have negative consequences for patient or healthcare worker safety. Most healthcare workers are no longer wearing masks when treating any patients that don't have a bad case of COVID-19, leading to exposure between patients and healthcare workers, as well as between healthcare workers. Retired doctors are being encouraged to come out and work, and medical students are being encouraged to graduate early to enter the workforce. Many specialists from unrelated disciplines, such as dermatologists or ophthalmologists, are staffing emergency rooms and treating patients far outside their expertise.[1] All of these measures to reduce expenses are necessary, but not ideal for patient or doctor safety in the long run.

Counter arguments

These measures are only a temporary occurrence for in the thick of the pandemic, and will soon go away. As the US's cases fall, resources will be less thinly spread and these efforts can be withdrawn. As more companies begin manufacturing equipment and masks they will become more readily available, and when other countries begin not needing them as the pandemic subsides, the US can import them. Temporary restrictive efforts to save resources and money will cease once the pandemic slows down.

Premises

[P1] The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed U.S. hospitals more than their resources can handle. [P2] To cope with resources spread too thinly, the pandemic has lead hospitals to take measures to save money and equipment.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] These measures are only temporary.

References

  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/coronavirus-forcing-american-hospitals-ration-care/609004/

This page was last edited on Thursday, 3 Sep 2020 at 04:04 UTC

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