Coronavirus (855) BMJ: An opportunity to reduce unnecessary healthcare

25 July, 2020

Interesting editorial in The BMJ...

CITATION: Covid-19: an opportunity to reduce unnecessary healthcare

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m2752 (Published 14 July 2020)

Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2752

Ray Moynihan, Minna Johansson, Alies Maybee, Eddy Lang, France Légaré

'Alongside the human suffering, covid-19 is also threatening the sustainability of health systems. The continuing costs of the pandemic combined with the impending financial crisis will inevitably mean having to do more with less. The tragedy of the pandemic has paradoxically produced an opportunity to tackle the increasingly recognised challenge of “too much medicine” safely and fairly — to help improve both sustainability and equity in healthcare. This well described problem of unnecessary tests, diagnoses, and treatments causes harm and wastes resources that could be better used for those in genuine need...'

'The threats from overuse and overdiagnosis may be even more serious in low and middle income countries...

'Looking beyond the crisis, our collective learning about the effects of the large falls in healthcare use can help inform and intensify efforts to reduce unnecessary care. This in turn can prevent avoidable harm to patients, enhance healthcare equity, and improve the sustainability of health systems everywhere.'

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org