Empty Operating Rooms

I posted recently about the fact that patients are staying away in droves from seeking elective medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is some more quantitative fuel to pour on that fire. Check this out. What you will see are survey results indicating that 48% of respondents had either delayed medical care themselves or had a family member that had done so. The plot thickens. The survey also found that 11% of the care skippers had their condition worsen as a result. Reportedly, several of the medical specialties most affected by these shortfalls (e.g., Emergency Medicine and Cardiology) have had their professional organization issue patient communications urging patients to get the care that they need. 

Bottom Line. YEAH, BUT… I don’t know where these purported patient communications have been running, because I haven’t seen any of them. I have said it before and I will say it again. There needs to be substantial shout volume placed behind these communications. What we are seeing reported here are findings in the early months of the pandemic. If the same care avoidance continues throughout 2020, we are going to see a marked negative effect on the health of millions of Americans, and on the economic health of tens of thousands of physicians as well. 

This is silly. We need to make this stop!

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