Government responses to emergency situations like the coronavirus outbreak can have a critical impact on the health and wellbeing of the public, and on the economy and society at large. So how have President Trump and his team responded? Will the American people benefit from or be hurt by the actions of the Trump Administration?
The flawed US health and social system is to blame for bad preparation for COVID-19Show moreShow less
Most of the world has been faring relatively better than the US during the COVID-19 outbreak, which has exposed flaws in the health and social system in the US. Such as the fact that some Americans refuse to get medical treatment out of fear for the high costs and that the government has been prioritizing closing borders rather than other precautions that have historically been much more helpful during pandemics.
Health care in the United States is the world’s most expensive, yet America’s health outcomes are poor with the highest rate of deaths amenable to health care per 100,000 population of 19 countries studied, with a rate not quite twice that of France, even though France spends roughly half of what the US does on health care.
Unlike Britain and many Commonwealth countries, there has never been a focus on primary care and there is a major gap between the number of primary care providers and the number that would be needed to deliver primary care to the full population.
The World Health Organization’s recommendation for pandemic response is based upon a strong public health and primary care response. Delaying disease spread is the only way a country’s health system won’t be overwhelmed.
Americans with insurance are used to a high-tech health care response rather than a public health measure like washing hands. This meant that the Washington State long term care facility where the first cluster of cases occurred, responded by admitting the people to hospital which ensured the virus was spread amongst sick and vulnerable people as quickly as possible
America has some of the best hospitals in the world and is rightly proud of them
[p1} The health care system in the USA is hospital focussed
[p2] this is to the detriment to primary care, which is what is needed for a flu pandemic
Rejecting the premises
Bates D. W. (2010). Primary care and the US health care system: what needs to change? Journal of general internal medicine, 25(10), 998–999. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-010-1464-0
Nolte E, McKee CM. Measuring the health of nations: updating an earlier analysis. Health Aff (Millwood) 2008;27(1):58–71. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.27.1.58