Impact of COVID-19 on the Economy and Healthcare Industry

Dr. Reem Osman, CEO – Saudi German Hospital

As the coronavirus continues its march around the world, governments and its machineries’ declared war/fight against the deadly COVID-19 with their proven public health measures and with the support of the private healthcare providers fighting to disrupt the contagion that resulted in the economic contagion which is now spreading as fast as the disease itself.

Classically, financial crises cripple an economy’s supply side. The coronavirus extends liquidity and capital problems to the real economy and does so at unprecedented scale. The months of social distancing could disrupt Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the countries that will slow down the economic growth of every impacted nation.

COVID-19 is currently the top priority for UAE’s health care system. Whilst there is uncertainty about how the pandemic will unfold, the implications for our health care system could be long-felt. There have been huge efforts put in across the sector with lots of positive action.

Though there will have a significant impact on the healthcare revenue cycle and financial operations, the entire nations encourage their populations to stay inside to avoid COVID-19.

The health care providers are more active than ever in response and health care providers who are on the frontline of testing and treating infected individuals to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

There has been various actions taken by regulators in coordination with private healthcare providers has been initiated,   including  establishing clear protocols and pandemic response teams, Home delivery of medication, mobilization of increased in capacity of the workforce, beds, equipment and diagnostics in coordination with private healthcare providers. The coronavirus outbreak has given rise to the demand of one key healthcare technology: telehealth. The tool, which has long been discussed in healthcare and IT circles, is now being recognized as a key system to support patient access to care throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

It is likely that it will take some time post pandemic to achieve what could be considered ‘business as usual’. In addition to getting things back to working normally, it will be important to use the experience of this pandemic to help us be better prepared for the next one, and use the experience of dealing with this crisis as a way to also consider other sustained improvements to our healthcare.