The outbreak of COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on the healthcare sector. Everyone from dentists to nurses to personal support workers has been affected. In some ways, the outbreak has exposed some of the problems with healthcare in Canada and the ways that it can be improved.
We’re seeing an increase in e-health with a growing number of practices offering virtual consultations over the phone or video. As well as this, the shortage of healthcare workers, particularly at long-term care facilities, has become apparent, and many industry representatives are calling for greater investment in the sector.
Read on to discover what the future of healthcare might look like post-COVID-19 and what this means for aspiring healthcare professionals.
The Rise of Virtual Care
With the public being advised to stay at home and avoid contact with others as much as possible, a significant number of face-to-face appointments have been cancelled. Whilst it’s easy to delay a hair appointment, for example, health problems cannot be ignored. Healthcare facilities are adapting to this and offering patients the opportunity to speak to a doctor without contact over the phone or over video.
Not only will this slow the spread of contagious viruses, but it could also improve efficiency at busy practices. In addition, patients who have difficulty leaving home without assistance or who live in a remote area can access the healthcare that they need.
This could make a real difference in rural parts of Canada,where some isolated communities struggle to access proper healthcare. It also means that you might need to provide care and advice digitally after graduating from healthcare college.
Improved Care for the Elderly in Long-term Care Facilities
Long-term care facilities like care homes have been some of the hardest-hit areas in the sector. Personal support workers and other healthcare professionals have found it difficult to provide the necessary care while also mitigating the risk of infection. In order to prevent this from happening in the future, many care facilities are reassessing their structures.
Elderly people make up a large percentage of Canada’s population. Statistics show that over 65s represent the largest age demographic in the country, and this is expected to double by 2036. This, alongside the effects of COVID-19, show that we need to prepare to care for Canada’s aging population.
It has also raised questions around patient and staff management. Prior to the pandemic, personal support workers could rotate between care homes. However, this increases the likelihood of transferring contagious diseases. In addition, care homes are starting to question the patient to carer ratio. For example, is it feasible and beneficial to have one carer per worker?
An Increase in Investment in Healthcare
COVID-19 has made it clear that the healthcare sector needs to be better prepared for a surge in capacity. Facilities and workers have found it difficult to accommodate the increase in patients and do not have the capacity or equipment. It has exposed gaps in the supply chain, too, with many facilities relying on international suppliers.
It is hoped that after COVID-19, the Canadian government will see the importance of investing in healthcare, including research and the development of new medicines and drugs, improved capacity for testing and diagnosing health problems, and more resources for treatment. After healthcare training, you could play a role in making society a safer place for everyone.
Do you want to find out more about healthcare courses?
Contact Medix College today!