Each day, the headlines remind us of the desperate shortage of medical supplies to fight the coronavirus. Healthcare workers are forced to treat patients without proper protective gear, manufacturers are scrambling to produce ventilators and masks, and rumors about unproven treatments lead to runs on drug supplies.
While healthcare, policy, and business leaders race to address these urgent needs, there’s a brewing storm on the horizon for our healthcare system that we must not ignore. People’s everyday medical concerns didn’t disappear with the coronavirus, and they can’t be put on hold indefinitely. At the same time, supply chains throughout the world have been disrupted as factories remain shuttered or shift their production to coronavirus supplies.
Fighting the coronavirus pandemic must be our first priority, but we also need to anticipate broader destabilizations in the healthcare supply chain that will ripple out in the coming months, as supplies are exhausted and manufacturers struggle to meet heightened demand. If we don’t turn our attention to these cascading problems, we may wake up and find ourselves unable to fill prescriptions for chronic conditions or secure surgical supplies to treat accident victims or usher newborns into the world. We must act now to head off a healthcare supply shortage that could be even broader and deeper than the one we’re currently facing…
Read the full article at Fast Company.