Since 2020 was a challenging year for global health, it is essential that in 2021 the same mistakes don’t get repeated. While it’s true that most countries around the world will have to combat the virus well into 2021, this is not the only issue that needs tackling in 2021. In addition, there is a rise in global health issues that need acknowledgment to ensure that the years coming after 2021 go smoothly.
Most countries will need to recreate their healthcare system from scratch. It is because the toll that the pandemic took on the healthcare system is immense. Exhausted staff, depletion of resources, and trouble making ends meet are issues countries face. Through this article, we will walk through some of the challenges of 2021, and now countries can work on them. Here’s what you need to know:
1. There is a Need for Worldwide Health Security
World health organization needs to work with different countries to help them improve their response to various health crises such as pandemics.
It means governments need to immediately put aside their differences and work collaboratively to make sure emergencies get tackled right away. It includes sharing resources, knowledge, and information swiftly so that the community can always subside a significant crisis.
2. Continue Vaccinating the Public
The vaccine has just started taking effect. Public health professionals will emphasize the importance of vaccinating most of the population by the end of 2021.
It means information on why vaccinating is essential needs to continue with stricter policies to ensure people don’t skip the process. In most cases, the government has enforced strict policies to prevent people from coming back to work unless they have a vaccine certificate.
There is an increase in the demand for public health workers. Many individuals are interested in joining it as a profession. Aspirants can opt for an online MPH degree to get a better position in this field and serve the community well. Online education allows them to continue their studies along with their current job.
3. Focusing on More Telehealth
Telehealth is the process through which patients can access healthcare through the internet. While patients need to go to hospitals to get their physical tests, it can further facilitate the process if they can do it online. Patients can cross-check information on hospital websites to understand if their symptoms are concerning or are manageable.
Patients can also book appointments online and know what time slots to show up to hospitals. All of these factors make for successful Telehealth and should be the focus of 2021’s healthcare regime. If Telehealth is a success, this will unburden the healthcare system since virtually dealing with patients saves physical resources.
4. Tackling Health Inequalities
The pandemic of 2019 exposed one of the most significant healthcare issues that are healthcare inequality. Specific communities faced tremendous difficulty in receiving healthcare. Most lived in areas where hospitals aren’t accessible, and getting to hospitals is even a more significant challenge.
They also faced discrimination due to a lack of financial resources and insurance plans. In such cases, there is a need for more hospitals closer to rural areas. Government should put policies in place that allow these communities to tap into financial resources to access healthcare.
5. Tackling Communicable Diseases
Corona has pushed back the treatment of many diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and polio on the backseat. However, now that there is a vaccine on-site, these diseases also need addressing again.
There now needs to be strong treatment plans and vaccine routes to eradicate these diseases once and for all. Suppose countries continue to ignore the impact these diseases have on the healthcare system. In that case, there will come a time when hospitals get burdened with patients who have infectious diseases.
6. More Advocacy for Mental Health Issues
As the stigma surrounding mental health issues gradually declines, it is essential to bring policies that will help tackle them. There needs to be more education on mental health conditions and how to seek help for them.
What a mental health care package looks like, and generally, what does the treatment route look like. Patients should also know how counseling and therapy are stepping stones to helping them recover and resume life.
7. Talking About Global Warming
Climate change and global warming are also the leading causes of many global health issues. The drastic temperature change has allowed some microorganisms to evolve and become mutant strains.
If this continues to happen, diseases that are eradicated have a chance of making a comeback in a more potent and stronger form. So there is a need to educate the population on slowing down climate change by changing their lifestyle. There needs to be a crackdown on all non-biodegradable products. More focus on organic and healthy products that boost health.
8. Helping People with Disability
People with disabilities need as much help as able people. It means the healthcare sector needs to find ways to provide care without further discomforting them. They could look into developing departments that help these patients look after their health better.
For example, if a patient cannot travel, arrangements should be made so that care goes to them. It could be mobile healthcare facilities, ambulance facilities, nurses who can visit these patients. It also includes helping patients such as those who are immunocompromised and what can be done to make sure they’re safe and healthy at all times. It would also help determine what facilities can be sent home for their care, such as machines, to help them breathe.
Many issues need tackling. The pandemic made countries realize where they lacked in both providing and facilitating care. When it comes to emergencies countries, need to share and exchange information and resources to make all crises get averted before they get out of control. Second, there is a need to tackle racial inequality when it comes to healthcare.
It means anyone who comes in for treatment has every right to fair treatment and care. Third, the public health system needs to tackle infectious and non-infectious diseases and not let them fester longer than they have.
There also needs to be conversations on global warming and climate change and how you may be at the forefront of many diseases. Finally, there need to be considerations given to those with disabilities to prevent their condition from deteriorating. It is only through these measures that the healthcare system will heal.