Ready for the Next Crisis? Investing in Health System Resilience sheds light on three major vulnerabilities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Health systems were underprepared, understaffed, and faced underinvestment. Resilience is the ability of systems to prepare for, absorb, recover from and adapt to major shocks. Using a resilience lens, this report calls for major investment in the health workforce, alongside increased spending on prevention and digital infrastructure.
This report makes six recommendations to improve health systems resilience and to reduce the impact of future shocks:
- Promote population health: vulnerable populations make for vulnerable health systems
- Promote workforce retention and recruitment: people are the key to making systems resilient
- Promote data collection and use: without the right data, decision makers are flying blind
- Promote international co-operation: responses are better together than alone
- Promote supply chain resilience: getting products and services when and where they are needed
- Promote governance and trust: without trust, whole of-society responses are less effective
Disruptions to health services led to reductions in diagnostic and surgical procedures in 2020
The number of hip replacements fell by 16% compared with 2019 across 31 OECD countries, but this ranged from a reduction of over 35% in Chile, Costa Rica and the United Kingdom to a reduction of less than 5% in Denmark, Finland, Israel, Latvia and Switzerland, and a small increase in Korea and Estonia.
Reductions in hip and knee replacements in 2020 compared with 2019, OECD countries
Note: The OECD average is the total reduction across all OECD countries for which data are available.
Source of the data: OECD Health Statistics 2022. See figure 9.4 in Chapter 9 Managing elective care and waiting times.
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