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What lasting impact will COVID-19 have on the U.S. healthcare industry? Show more Show less
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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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Health centers might need government funds to keep their doors open

The pandemic is taking a financial toll on the healthcare industry, and hospitals will need government funding to keep them above water. Before the pandemic, there were quite a number of elective admissions or people who opted to go to hospitals for non-threatening issues or optional procedures. This number has been declining and hospitals are losing money.

The Argument

The COVID-19 pandemic has issued a huge financial blow to many hospitals. Most are at maximum capacity and trying to stretch resources much more widely than usual. They are working much harder and on an emergency timescale, but still can't keep up. In addition, a large portion of the hospital's financial support comes from elective admissions, patients who choose to have surgery done (as opposed to getting sick or injured and needing treatment immediately, such as with COVID-19 patients). Elective admissions tend to be the highest paying portion of the hospital's patients. However, with the pandemic going on, these admissions are very low because people want to limit their hospital exposure. Hospitals are often full of COVID-19 patients and cannot spare resources for elective admissions. Due to this pattern, hospitals are losing large portions of their income during the pandemic.[1] This financial hardship will take its toll on healthcare facilities, and they will need government funding to continue. Many hospitals are already underfunded and struggling financially. COVID-19 and the lockdown of many services will set hospitals back and they will end up requiring increased government funding for many years to come, even after the pandemic has ended.

Counter arguments

Once the pandemic subsides, hospitals will quickly bounce back to normal. The pandemic is causing financial hardship, and lots of healthcare facilities need government support to get through it. However the pandemic is a one-time ordeal, so the required financial support from the government will not be a lasting change, but just something to get hospitals through and back to self-sufficiency.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated hospitals financially. [P2] COVID-19's lasting impact on healthcare will be a higher reliance on government funding.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] This will be a temporary impact, not a lasting one.

References

  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2765698
This page was last edited on Friday, 4 Sep 2020 at 07:21 UTC

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