April 13, 2020 infosol

Undercurrent 6: The Intricate Vectors We May Have Missed

19 Undercurrents with Ramifications That Go Beyond Twenty20

The Poor Standing of Western Governments & Healthcare Policies

  •  The Governments in E.U and U.S were caught like “The Deer in the Headlights”
  • COVID-19 served as an MRI and stress test of the might of healthcare systems in the western world
  • Result: Massive underinvestment in the sector, fractures in capacity, PPE & vital equipment
  • The world is dazed to hear that medical staff in U.S and U.K protecting themselves with garbage bags
  • The investments in endless wars & massive negligence in building defences at home will be in contrast
  • Many Senate/Congress & Parliament Select Hearing Committees will follow in 2021 – heads will roll
  • The ultimate sacrifice, selfless heroism and courage of medical staff will not be forgotten anytime soon

 Keep an Eye On

The bottom line of this crisis is that hardly any of the governments the Western Hemisphere EU, UK or US for that matter can keep their heads up high or in pride for what they have put their frontliners through.

In United States Medicare is going to be a key issues in Nov. election. Expect an increased in mud slinging from U.S at WHO in coming weeks and months. U.S will probably stop funding for WHO before Nov. elections.

Like many other retrenchments of late by U.S (The Paris Agreement, TPP etc.) China will lean in, providing the WHO with considerable financing. Many countries in E.U who have received critical support from China in the hours of need will find it very hard to take sides this time around.

I have been thinking as to why we don’t have a Basel II & III (https://www.bis.org/publ/bcbsca.htm) for hospitals and healthcare sectors? By which the healthcare sector must at all times maintain the necessary reserves of PPE, supplies and access to on-call human capital for unforeseen demands and crises. Lives matter.

Many of the elder loved ones lost in care-homes are the cohorts of “Silent Generation” who were at the centre of reconstruction and development after the WWII. Their departure and memories should not be silenced.

Wise governments around the world will recognize now and prepare for a wave of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorders) among the front liners of the healthcare sector. In U.K NHS needs its own healing after these crises.

On a happier note U.K is rejoiced that Prime Minister Johnson is out of ICU and with a clean bill of health.

During his passionate and genuine speech after discharge, Prime Minister highlighted the impact and care of Luis a Portuguese nurse and Jenny from New Zealand among many wonderful British and foreign medical staff who attended to him and stood by his bed.

A smart and genuine strategic communication strategy by government should follow these crises to capture and convey the positive impact of foreign workers not only in healthcare but also all other essential services who stood up tall and strong in this pandemic, risking their own lives. Such an initiative could be an example on how to quell the anti-immigrant wave and populist sentiments across U.K and Europe for that matter.

People in ICU generally have near death experiences. In his video message Boris Johnson mentioned, “It could have gone either way”. With a discharge ironically on Easter Sunday, we may witness the rise of a new Prime Minister who will devote himself to courageous centrism, compassion and creativity in governance. As for the healthcare sector, it must only go one way and that is SAFE: Strengthened, Appreciated, Financed & Equipped. The future of healthcare “cannot go either way”.

Ali Borhani is the Managing Director of 3Sixty Strategic Advisors Ltd. It is the readers’ responsibility to verify their own
facts. The views and opinions expressed in this article/commentary are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other individual, agency, organization, employer or company.