How to protect healthcare workers – and improve pandemic preparedness

Health, Policies

How to protect healthcare workers – and improve pandemic preparedness

Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the structural vulnerabilities and lack of pandemic preparedness in our health systems.These vulnerabilities were further impacted by a shortage of healthcare workers.

The pandemic brought an unprecedented demand for healthcare capacity in clinics, hospitals, intensive care units and home-care. Healthcare workers were providing care at significantly longer hours in overwhelmed facilities, frequently with insufficient skills and training combined with a lack of protective equipment. With facilities understaffed, many workers were double-shifting as caregivers and providing clinical training to volunteers.