It’s a crisis which can’t be ignored, because some of its causes present common grounds within the global scenario we are all sharing as Western citizens, and that leads us unavoidably to reflect, beyond every political dispute.
It’s a sensitive gear, the one we are experiencing since the beginning of the new millenium, when a disruptive phenomenon called globalization started to change our way of thinking the world and how to act our connections out of it. These remodelings have strongly affected societies and their economies, likewise it’s happening now in a “reverse” context: there is a negative inflection on “openness”, and brexit has been one of the new year’s event summarizing effects of this new tendency which is spreading all over the world.
Collateral effects are behind the corner and, among all, they could concern also national health systems’ quality and medical assistance’s availability: which kind of repercussions are waited to come in England and what can we learn from them?
A shortage of specialised personnel
According to an article from House of Common Libraries, the World Health Organisation announced a healthcare workforce gap of 14,5 million by 2030: this is a global emergency that mustn’t be underestimated.
In UK, one of the most urgent issue concerns an enormous lack of nurses, with one in eight posts vacant, with the greatest peak in London’s area. And, due to the aging of the population and the decrease of mortality rate, the demand is going to keep rising despite the low offer.
In 2018, the healthcare workforce was composed by the 12% by non-British nationals; in 2019, 65,000 EU nationals were employed in NHS Hospital and Community Health Services: doctors and nurses seem to be the categories joined the most by EU citizens. So, it’s evident that the situation is going to get worse as long as brexit will diffuse its effects in terms of jobs’ concessions, without mentioning another delicate issue: the difficult retention of workers in social care.
There are too few specialized people working in the field, with a workload pressure becoming unsustainable. That’s why a help in order to dab the leak and to optimize available resources would be part of the solution: intelligent medtech tools like Kibi could really fulfill lacks and boost up efficiency of current workers, lightening their tasks and economizing their interventions.
Care home places are in the eye of the storm too
During the recent past years, many care home places have collapsed, while in those reminders the quality of assistance has been drastically lowered. The British Geriatrics Society is alarmed because old people’s growing number is going to face a system’s void: how this vulnerable age range can be somehow safeguarded?
Actually, it’s true that are closing those care home places which are way too expensive; but then affordable ones are too charged for what are their resources. And again, there are post-brexit repurcussions in addiction to expect.
The chief of geriatrics society, Prof Tahir Masud – in an article from The Guardian – warns: “If care homes can’t afford to bring in good people from outside the UK prepared to work for lower wages and as few people inside the UK want to take the jobs instead, as is the case now, then care homes will be forced to employ people they might have concerns about. The risk then is of abuse and very low quality of care.”
To prevent old people going to hospitals, there would be a need for more geriatric doctors within the community, but they are somehow rare in hospitals too.
This looks as a checkmate; new strategies has to be developed and adopted as soon as possible, to protect who are the most exposed and potentially damaged by these great social changes: elderly people.