By Consumers For Quality Care, on October 13, 2021
According to The New York Times, hospitals around the country inundated with COVID-19 patients are postponing treatments and surgeries for people with other serious conditions.
In the early days of the pandemic, hospitals pushed non-emergency care and surgeries off to preserve supplies and protect their operating capacity. As hospitals got a better grip on caring for COVID-19 patients, most rescheduled these procedures. However, as COVID-19 cases have increased again in recent months, many hospitals are once again having to ration care.
In Oregon, Mary O’Donnell had her back surgery cancelled, with no timeline for when it would be rescheduled. Mary was hoping the surgery would reduce her chronic pain that severely disrupts her movement. “I’m really depressed,” she said.
Providers are seeing the ripple effects of delaying care, acknowledging the physical and emotional toll this takes on patients. Dr. Bryan Alsip, a chief medical officer from Texas, said, “It was very clear that many of these folks had decompensated or were more acutely ill than they would have otherwise been.”
No consumer should ever be turned away from receiving the care they need. Lawmakers and hospitals must all work together to ensure patients can always access the quality care they need.