Home » Disparities in European healthcare system approaches to maintaining continuity of medication for non-communicable diseases during the COVID-19 outbreak

Kardas P, Van Boven JFM, Pinnock H, Menditto E, Wettermark B, Tsiligianni I, Ágh T.

COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic on March 11 2020,with dramatic consequences on the way we live. The rigours of lock-down and physical distancing posed major challenges to society, andspecifically to healthcare systems. In the initial focus on acute COVID-19 treatment, management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)was severely scaled down, and patients suffering from NCDs weregiven low priority. Appointments were postponed or cancelled dueto re-allocation of healthcare personnel to tasks related to managingCOVID-19. Healthcare providers, coping with inadequate supplies ofpersonal protective equipment, minimised physical contact withpatients to avoid contagion. Patients’motivation to seek care dimin-ished, as medical centres were perceived as potential sources ofinfection. The result was a major global disruption in NCD manage-ment just at a time when long-term conditions were emerging asmajor risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19.

Source: Lancet Reg Health Eur. 2021 May; 4: 100099. doi: 10.1016/j.lanepe.2021.100099

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