Our healthcare system is failing people without COVID-19. It’s time to address the hidden third wave.
- By prioritizing the prevention of the spread of COVID-19, we have unintentionally left behind people who live with rare diseases, cancer and other acute and chronic health conditions.
- During the pandemic, we have seen significant declines in new cancer diagnoses and screening, while a majority of people living with a rare disease said the shutdowns caused interruptions in clinical care.
- We need creative solutions to ensure everyone can access basic healthcare, crisis or not. (See link for article)
Hospitalization rates for acute, deadly diseases are down sharply from pre-COVID levels.
This is just as serious as a virus that will ‘run its course,’ despite what anyone does. How many are bitten by ticks but too afraid to go in and be seen? According to the article, 70% are very or somewhat concerned about going to a health facility due to fear and 4 out of 10 general practice doctors have been unable to practice since the shutdowns in the UK and Northern Ireland.
We cannot deem only the COVID-19 response as “essential” and treatment for people living with other diseases as “non-essential”.