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1.
Health Res Policy Syst ; 20(1): 58, 2022 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951249

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are among those regions most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has strained health systems in the region. In this context of severe healthcare resource constraints, there is a need for systematic priority-setting to support decision-making which ensures the best use of resources while considering the needs of the most vulnerable groups. The aim of this paper was to provide a critical description and analysis of how health systems considered priority-setting in the COVID-19 response and preparedness plans of a sample of 14 LAC countries; and to identify the associated research gaps. METHODS: A documentary analysis of COVID-19 preparedness and response plans was performed in a sample of 14 countries in the LAC region. We assessed the degree to which the documented priority-setting processes adhered to established quality indicators of effective priority-setting included in the Kapiriri and Martin framework. We conducted a descriptive analysis of the degree to which the reports addressed the quality parameters for each individual country, as well as a cross-country comparison to explore whether parameters varied according to independent variables. RESULTS: While all plans were led and supported by the national governments, most included only a limited number of quality indicators for effective priority-setting. There was no systematic pattern between the number of quality indicators and the country's health system and political contexts; however, the countries that had the least number of quality indicators tended to be economically disadvantaged. CONCLUSION: This study adds to the literature by providing the first descriptive analysis of the inclusion of priority-setting during a pandemic, using the case of COVID-19 response and preparedness plans in the LAC region. The analysis found that despite the strong evidence of political will and stakeholder participation, none of the plans presented a clear priority-setting process, or used a formal priority-setting framework, to define interventions, populations, geographical regions, healthcare setting or resources prioritized. There is need for case studies that analyse how priority-setting actually occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and the degree to which the implementation reflected the plans and the parameters of effective priority-setting, as well as the impact of the prioritization processes on population health, with a focus on the most vulnerable groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Delivery of Health Care , Government Programs , Humans , Latin America
4.
Health Res Policy Syst ; 20(1): 50, 2022 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1892217

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The shift in the global burden of disease from communicable to noncommunicable was a factor in mobilizing support for a broader post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) health agenda. To curb these and other global health problems, 193 Member States of the United Nations (UN) became signatories of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and committed to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030. In the context of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the importance of health systems governance (HSG) is felt now more than ever for addressing the pandemic and continuing to provide essential health services. However, little is known about the successes and challenges of HSG with respect to UHC and health security. This study, therefore, aims to synthesize the evidence and identify successes and challenges of HSG towards UHC and health security. METHODS: We conducted a structured narrative review of studies published through 28 July 2021. We searched the existing literature using three databases: PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science. Search terms included three themes: HSG, UHC and health security. We synthesized the findings using the five core functions of HSG: policy formulation and strategic plans; intelligence; regulation; collaboration and coalition; and accountability. RESULTS: A total of 58 articles were included in the final review. We identified that context-specific health policy and health financing modalities helped to speed up the progress towards UHC and health security. Robust health intelligence, intersectoral collaboration and coalition were also essential to combat the pandemic and ensure the delivery of essential health services. On the contrary, execution of a one-size-fits-all HSG approach, lack of healthcare funding, corruption, inadequate health workforce, and weak regulatory and health government policies were major challenges to achieving UHC and health security. CONCLUSIONS: Countries, individually and collectively, need strong HSG to speed up the progress towards UHC and health security. Decentralization of health services to grass root levels, support of stakeholders, fair contribution and distribution of resources are essential to support the implementation of programmes towards UHC and health security. It is also vital to ensure independent regulatory accreditation of organizations in the health system and to integrate quality- and equity-related health service indicators into the national social protection monitoring and evaluation system; these will speed up the progress towards UHC and health security.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Universal Health Insurance , Global Health , Government Programs , Health Policy , Humans
5.
Fam Med Community Health ; 10(2)2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891860

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the implications of chronic underinvestment in health workforce development, particularly in resource-constrained health systems. Inadequate health workforce diversity, insufficient training and remuneration, and limited support and protection reduce health system capacity to equitably maintain health service delivery while meeting urgent health emergency demands. Applying the Health Worker Life Cycle Approach provides a useful conceptual framework that adapts a health labour market approach to outline key areas and recommendations for health workforce investment-building, managing and optimising-to systematically meet the needs of health workers and the systems they support. It also emphasises the importance of protecting the workforce as a cross-cutting investment, which is especially important in a health crisis like COVID-19. While the global pandemic has spurred intermittent health workforce investments required to immediately respond to COVID-19, applying this 'lifecycle approach' to guide policy implementation and financing interventions is critical to centering health workers as stewards of health systems, thus strengthening resilience to public health threats, sustainably responding to community needs and providing more equitable, patient-centred care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Workforce , Government Programs , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics
6.
Med Trop Sante Int ; 1(2)2021 06 30.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1893755

ABSTRACT

The adoption of the Abidjan Platform in 1999 accompanied the development of mutual health insurance on the African continent. Twenty years after the adoption of the Abidjan Platform, mutual health insurance companies have indeed experienced development, structuring and professionalization. In January 2019, the international mutualist movement adopted the "Lomé Platform" during the Lomé conference, a document presenting a new consensus for the development of mutuality, taking into account the impact of national, regional and international decision-making levels on the environment influencing the development of mutual health insurance. Two years after the adoption of the document, its recommendations remain relevant and the COVID-19 crisis reveals the importance of seizing all resources to develop health systems on the African continent.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cote d'Ivoire , Government Programs , Humans
7.
BMJ Open ; 12(6): e058622, 2022 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1874558

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to assess the capacities and governance of Lebanon's health system throughout the response to the COVID-19 pandemic until August 2020. DESIGN: A qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews. SETTING: Lebanon, February-August 2020. PARTICIPANTS: Selected participants were directly or indirectly involved in the national or organisational response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Lebanon. RESULTS: A total of 41 participants were included in the study. 'Hardware' capacities of the system were found to be responsive yet deeply influenced by the challenging national context. The health workforce showed high levels of resilience, despite the shortage of medical staff and gaps in training at the early stages of the pandemic. The system infrastructure, medical supplies and testing capacities were sufficient, but the reluctance of the private sector in care provision and gaps in reimbursement of COVID-19 care by many health funding schemes were the main concerns. Moreover, the public health surveillance system was overwhelmed a few months after the start of the pandemic. As for the system 'software', there were attempts for a participatory governance mechanism, but the actual decision-making process was challenging with limited cooperation and strategic vision, resulting in decreased trust and increased confusion among communities. Moreover, the power imbalance between health actors and other stakeholders affected decision-making dynamics and the uptake of scientific evidence in policy-making. CONCLUSIONS: Interventions adopting a centralised and reactive approach were prominent in Lebanon's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Better public governance and different reforms are needed to strengthen the health system preparedness and capacities to face future health security threats.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , COVID-19/epidemiology , Government Programs , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Pandemics , Policy Making
8.
Aust Health Rev ; 46(3): 256-257, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873621
9.
Cad. Saúde Pública (Online) ; 37(3): e00277420, 2021.
Article in English | WHO COVID, LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-1869236

ABSTRACT

Abstract: Since the first recorded case of COVID-19 on February 26, 2020, Brazil has seen an exponential growth in the number of cases and deaths. The national testing approach has been insufficient to correctly use this tool in the support of containing the epidemic in the country. In this communication, we discuss efforts and challenges to scale-up COVID-19 testing at the Brazilian Unified National Health System (SUS). This communication presents the initial results of the research project created to investigate the political, industrial, technological, and regulatory aspects that may affect the diagnostic and testing capacity for COVID-19 in Brazil. The paper draws on the review of academic literature, media publication, and collection of public data on tests purchase and regulation. It enlists initiatives to enhance PCR testing, national production and development of technologies, as well as regulatory measures to fast-track new tests. Our analysis indicates some points of reflection. Firstly, the lack of a consistent national strategy to fight COVID-19 exarcebated supply problems of diagnostic components. If the country was eventually able to circumvent this situation, it still faces a more structural dependency on the importation of diagnostic components. Secondly, the discontinued funding and distribution of tests may have implied health policy fragmentation and the growing importance of local governments and non-state actors to fighting the epidemics within SUS. Finally, initiatives established since the second semester of 2020 have expanded the testing capacity at SUS. However, it has not been sufficient to control the progress of the epidemic in the country.


Resumo: Desde que o primeiro caso de COVID-19 no Brasil foi notificado, em 26 de fevereiro de 2020, o país assiste a um crescimento exponencial no número de casos e mortes. A estratégia nacional de testagem tem sido insuficiente para usar essa ferramenta corretamente no apoio à contenção da epidemia no país. O artigo discute os esforços e desafios para escalonar a testagem para COVID-19 no Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS). O texto apresenta os resultados iniciais de um projeto de pesquisa sobre os aspectos políticos, industriais, tecnológicos e regulatórios que podem afetar a capacidade diagnóstica e de testagem para COVID-19 no Brasil. O estudo se apoia em revisão da literatura cientifica, artigos publicados na mídia e coleta de dados públicos sobre a compra e regulamentação de testes. O texto faz referência a iniciativas para ampliar a testagem de PCR, a produção nacional e o desenvolvimento de tecnologias, além de medidas regulatórias fast-track para novos testes. Nossa análise sugere alguns pontos para reflexão. Primeiro, a falta de uma estratégia nacional consistente para combater a COVID-19 agravou os problemas de fornecimento de reagentes de diagnostico num primeiro momento. Esta situação foi posteriormente resolvida, embora coloque novamente em pauta a dependência estrutural do país na importação de insumos de saúde estratégicos. Em segundo lugar, financiamento e a distribuição de testes, que ocorreram de forma descontinuada, podem indicar a fragmentação da política sanitária, assim como o papel de governos estaduais, municipais e atores não estatais no combate à epidemia no âmbito do SUS. Por último, iniciativas estabelecidas no segundo semestre de 2020 contribuíram para ampliar a capacidade de testagem molecular no SUS. Contudo, essa capacidade não foi suficiente para controlar a epidemia no Brasil.


Resumen: Desde que se registró el primer caso de COVID-19 el 26 de febrero de 2020, Brasil ha visto un crecimiento exponencial en el número de casos y muertes. La estrategia nacional para preconizar el test de diagnóstico ha sido insuficiente en el uso correcto de esta herramienta, con el fin de ayudar a contener la epidemia en el país. Se presentó los esfuerzos y los desafíos para ampliar la realización de pruebas de COVID-19 en el Sistema Único de Salud brasileño (SUS). Este artículo presenta los resultados iniciales del proyecto de investigación sobre los aspectos políticos, industriales, tecnológicos y regulatorios que pueden afectar la capacidad de diagnóstico para la COVID-19 en Brasil. El grupo de investigación realizó una revisión de la literatura académica, medios de comunicación y recogida de datos públicos respecto a la adquisición de tests y su regulación. Se haz referencia a iniciativas para promover la realización de pruebas de PCR, la producción nacional y el desarrollo de tecnologías, así como las medidas regulatorias fast-track para nuevas pruebas. Nuestro análisis indica algunos puntos de reflexión. Primero, la falta de una estrategia nacional consistente para luchar contra la COVID-19 que exacerbó los problemas de sumistro de los componentes de diagnóstico en un primer momento. Se solucionó posteriormente esta situación, aunque se coloque nuevamente en pauta la dependencia estructural del país en la importación de insumos de salud estratégicos. Segundo, la financiación y la distribución de tests de forma descontinuada pueden indicar la fragmentación de la política de salud, así como los gobiernos estaduales, municipales, y atores no estatales asumiendo un rol preponderante en acciones de combate a la epidemia en el SUS. En último, las iniciativas establecidas en el segundo semestre del 2020 contribuyeron para ampliar la capacidad de realización de tests moleculares en el SUS. Sin embargo, esa capacidad no fue suficiente para controlar la epidemia en Brasil.


Subject(s)
Humans , COVID-19 , Brazil , COVID-19 Testing , SARS-CoV-2 , Government Programs
10.
Hum Resour Health ; 20(1): 48, 2022 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865301

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Workforce is a fundamental health systems building block, with unprecedented measures taken to meet extra demand and facilitate surge capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic, following a prolonged period of austerity. This case study examines trends in Ireland's publicly funded health service workforce, from the global financial crisis, through the Recovery period and into the COVID-19 pandemic, to understand resource allocation across community and acute settings. Specifically, this paper aims to uncover whether skill-mix and staff capacity are aligned with policy intent and the broader reform agenda to achieve universal access to integrated healthcare, in part, by shifting free care into primary and community settings. METHODS: Secondary analysis of anonymised aggregated national human resources data was conducted over a period of almost 14 years, from December 31st 2008 to August 31st 2021. Comparative analysis was conducted, by professional cadre, across three keys periods: 'Recession period' December 31st 2008-December 31st 2014; 'Recovery period' December 31st 2014-December 31st 2019; and the 'COVID-19 period' December 31st 2019-August 31st 2021. RESULTS: During the Recession period there was an overall decrease of 8.1% (n = 9333) between December 31st 2008 and December 31st 2014, while the Recovery period saw the overall staff levels rebound and increase by 15.2% (n = 16,789) between December 31st 2014 and December 31st 2019. These figures continued to grow, at an accelerated rate during the most recent COVID-19 period, increasing by a further 8.9% (n = 10,716) in under 2 years. However, a notable shift occurred in 2013, when the number of staff in acute services surpassed those employed in community services (n = 50,038 and 49,857, respectively). This gap accelerated during the Recovery and COVID-19 phase. By August 2021, there were 13,645 more whole-time equivalents in acute settings compared to community, a complete reverse of the 2008 situation. This was consistent across all cadres. Workforce absence trends indicate short-term spikes resulting from shocks while COVID-19 redeployment disproportionately impacted negatively on primary care and community services. CONCLUSIONS: This paper clearly demonstrates the prioritisation of staff recruitment within acute services-increasing needed capacity, without the same commitment to support government policy to shift care into primary and community settings. Concerted action including the permanent redistribution of personnel is required to ensure progressive and sustainable responses are learned from recent shocks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Government Programs , Humans , Ireland , Pandemics , Workforce
12.
Global Health ; 18(1): 51, 2022 May 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1846851

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Practical links between health systems and health security are historically prevalent, but the conceptual links between these fields remain under explored, with little on health system strengthening. The need to address this gap gains relevance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic as it demonstrated a crucial relationship between health system capacities and effective health security response. Acknowledging the importance of developing stronger and more resilient health systems globally for health emergency preparedness, the WHO developed a Health Systems for Health Security framework that aims to promote a common understanding of what health systems for health security entails whilst identifying key capacities required. METHODS/ RESULTS: To further explore and analyse the conceptual and practical links between health systems and health security within the peer reviewed literature, a rapid scoping review was carried out to provide an overview of the type, extent and quantity of research available. Studies were included if they had been peer-reviewed and were published in English (seven databases 2000 to 2020). 343 articles were identified, of those 204 discussed health systems and health security (high and medium relevance), 101 discussed just health systems and 47 discussed only health security (low relevance). Within the high and medium relevance articles, several concepts emerged, including the prioritization of health security over health systems, the tendency to treat health security as exceptionalism focusing on acute health emergencies, and a conceptualisation of security as 'state security' not 'human security' or population health. CONCLUSION: Examples of literature exploring links between health systems and health security are provided. We also present recommendations for further research, offering several investments and/or programmes that could reliably lead to maximal gains from both a health system and a health security perspective, and why these should be explored further. This paper could help researchers and funders when deciding upon the scope, nature and design of future research in this area. Additionally, the paper legitimises the necessity of the Health Systems for Health Security framework, with the findings of this paper providing useful insights and evidentiary examples for effective implementation of the framework.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Government Programs , Humans , Medical Assistance , Pandemics/prevention & control
14.
Ethn Dis ; 32(2): 113-122, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1818894

ABSTRACT

Objective: To determine if race-ethnicity is correlated with case-fatality rates among low-income patients hospitalized for COVID-19. Research Design: Observational cohort study using electronic health record data. Patients: All patients assessed for COVID-19 from March 2020 to January 2021 at one safety net health system. Measures: Patient demographic and clinical characteristics, and hospital care processes and outcomes. Results: Among 25,253 patients assessed for COVID-19, 6,357 (25.2%) were COVID-19 positive: 1,480 (23.3%) hospitalized; 334 (22.6%) required intensive care; and 106 (7.3%) died. More Hispanic patients tested positive (51.8%) than non-Hispanic Black (31.4%) and White patients (16.7%, P<.001]. Hospitalized Hispanic patients were younger, more often uninsured, and less likely to have comorbid conditions. Non-Hispanic Black patients had significantly more diabetes, hypertension, obesity, chronic kidney disease, and asthma (P<.05). Non-Hispanic White patients were older and had more cigarette smoking history, COPD, and cancer. Non-Hispanic White patients were more likely to receive intensive care (29.6% vs 21.1% vs 20.8%, P=.007) and more likely to die (12% vs 7.3% vs 3.5%, P<.001) compared with non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic patients, respectively. Length of stay was similar for all groups. In logistic regression models, Medicaid insurance status independently correlated with hospitalization (OR 3.67, P<.001) while only age (OR 1.076, P<.001) and cerebrovascular disease independently correlated with in-hospital mortality (OR 2.887, P=.002). Conclusions: Observed COVID-19 in-hospital mortality rate was lower than most published rates. Age, but not race-ethnicity, was independently correlated with in-hospital mortality. Safety net health systems are foundational in the care of vulnerable patients suffering from COVID-19, including patients from under-represented and low-income groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ethnicity , Comorbidity , Government Programs , Humans , Poverty , United States
15.
Lancet ; 399(10336): 1682, 2022 04 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815322
16.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263039, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793535

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Distrust, and more broadly, public perception of government's handling of a crisis, has been a widely studied topic within health crisis research and suggests that these perceptions are significantly associated with the behavior of its citizens. PURPOSE: To understand which aspects of the public's perception of government handling of the COVID-19 pandemic predicted engagement of protective behaviors among older adults, who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19. METHODS: Participants were recruited from an ongoing biopsychosocial study on aging amongst community-dwelling older adults. There were two rounds of data collection, during the national lockdown and post-lockdown. The average length of follow-up was 5.88 months. N = 421 completed the first round of data collection and N = 318 subsequently completed the second round of questionnaires. RESULTS: During the lockdown, perceptions that pandemic-related measures in place were sufficient, effective, timely, provided a sense of safety, important information was easily accessible, and government handling of the pandemic could be trusted, were found to significantly predict engagement in protective behaviors. During post-lockdown, only perceptions that measures in place were sufficient, provided a sense of safety, and important information was easily accessible, remained significant predictors. The perception that COVID-19 measures were clear and easy to understand now became a significant predictor. CONCLUSIONS: Public perceptions of government handling of the pandemic predicted engagement in protective behaviors but were less important during post-lockdown. To effectively engage older adults in protective behavior, our findings suggest for pandemic-related information to be accessible, introducing timely safety measures, and having easy-to-understand instructions for nuanced measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Crew Resource Management, Healthcare/methods , Trust/psychology , Aged , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Government , Government Programs/trends , Humans , Independent Living/psychology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Perception , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
17.
JMIR Mhealth Uhealth ; 10(4): e34483, 2022 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793156

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote patient monitoring technology, which offers exciting opportunities for expanded connected care at a distance. However, while the mode of clinicians' interactions with patients and their health data has transformed, the larger framework of how we deliver care is still driven by a model of episodic care that does not facilitate this new frontier. Fully realizing a transformation to a system of continuous connected care augmented by remote monitoring technology will require a shift in clinicians' and health systems' approach to care delivery technology and its associated data volume and complexity. In this article, we present a solution that organizes and optimizes the interaction of automated technologies with human oversight, allowing for the maximal use of data-rich tools while preserving the pieces of medical care considered uniquely human. We review implications of this "augmented continuous connected care" model of remote patient monitoring for clinical practice and offer human-centered design-informed next steps to encourage innovation around these important issues.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Delivery of Health Care , Government Programs , Humans , Pandemics
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(9)2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792682

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic and the digitalization of medical services present significant challenges for the medical sector of the European Union, with profound implications for health systems and the provision of high-performance public health services. The sustainability and resilience of health systems are based on the introduction of information and communication technology in health processes and services, eliminating the vulnerability that can have significant consequences for health, social cohesion, and economic progress. This research aims to assess the impact of digitalization on several dimensions of health, introducing specific implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research methodology consists of three procedures: cluster analysis performed through vector quantization, agglomerative clustering, and an analytical approach consisting of data mapping. The main results highlight the importance of effective national responses and provide recommendations, various priorities, and objectives to strengthen health systems at the European level. Finally, the results reveal the need to reduce the gaps between the EU member states and a new approach to policy, governance, investment, health spending, and the performing provision of digital services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , European Union , Government Programs , Humans , Medical Assistance , Pandemics
20.
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