EHS-COVID (373) Impact of COVID-19 on cancer services (5)

4 June, 2021

Dear HIFA members,

Sharing an article on Cancer care services during COVID19 from India. The paper highlights that the pandemic has affected low socio economic status/ rural population the most and reducing their accessibility to healthcare services.

Impact of COVID‐19 pandemic on cancer surgery: Patient's perspective [*see note below]

Best regards,


HIFA profile: Dr Sanchika Gupta is an Indian healthcare specialist with eight years of experience as both clinician and public health programmer. She explored wide breadth of public health realm viz. family planning/reproductive health, maternal, adolescent and child health during her association with national and international NGOs namely INCLEN, MAMTA, Jhpiego and Pathfinder International. She acquired technical expertise in advocacy, program management, research, monitoring and evaluation throughout her fieldwork in eight Indian states (Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh). She is the nominee of ‘120 under 40: the new generation of family planning leaders’ in 2019. In the recent years, she has been associated with HIFA through its Social Media Working Group and EHS-COVID19 project. In 2021, HIFA nominated her as Global Country Representative Coordinator. Currently, she is based in New Delhi, India and is available on email id or Twitter @sanchika_gupta.

[*Note from HIFA moderator (Neil PW): Thanks Sanchika, for the benefit of those without immediate web access here is the abstract:


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) has impacted cancer care globally. The aim of this study is to analyze the impact of COVID‐19 on cancer healthcare from the perspective of patients with cancer.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted between June 19, 2020, to August 7, 2020, using a questionnaire designed by patients awaiting cancer surgery...

Results: A significant adverse impact was noted in all five domains (p = < 0.05), with the maximal impact felt in the domain of financial status followed by healthcare access. Patients with income levels of INR < 35 K (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.61, p < 0.05)... experienced the most adverse COVID-related impact.

Conclusion: Delivering quality cancer care in low to middle-income countries is a challenge even in normal times. During this pandemic, deficiencies in this fragile healthcare delivery system were exacerbated. Identification of vulnerable groups of patients and strategic utilization of available resources becomes even more important during global catastrophes, such as the current COVID‐19 pandemic. Further work is required in these avenues to not only address the current pandemic but also any potential future crises.]