Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospitals

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted hospitals around the world. Many hospitals have scaled back or postponed non-emergency care. This has medical consequences for the people served by the hospitals, and it has financial consequences for the hospitals.

General implicationsEdit

Researchers could show that due to cancelled or postponed surgical procedures, 28.4 Million procedures had been postponed during the peak 12 weeks of the pandemic. 2.3 Million cancer surgerie were expected to be postponed. Estimates could show that 72.3% of all surgical procedures would be cancelled and that benign disease and orthopaedics would be the most affected procedures.[1]


China has rapidly constructed new hospitals to accommodate a large number of beds.[2]

According to doctors in Tokyo, Japan, the state of emergency is not enough for stopping the spread of the coronavirus.[3]

North AmericaEdit

In the United States, hospitals financially rely on "surgeries, scans and other well-reimbursed services to privately insured patients"; when non-emergency care was discontinued during the pandemic, causing severe financial problems. For example, the Mayo Clinic's revenue had a net gain of $1 billion in 2019, but had to cancel surgeries in 2020 and therefore expects to lose nearly $1 billion during 2020.[4]

The federal government passed the CARES Act which is giving $30 billion to hospitals nationwide.[5] 261 hospital systems laid off or furloughed over 100,000 employees by May 21.[6]


In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, experts are warning that many African countries will be overwhelmed if the coronavirus spreads.[7]

Ethiopia had just three hospital beds per 10,000 people in 2015, according to the World Health Organization(WHO).[8]

Central African Republic has three ventilators in total [9]and in Zimbabwe, doctors have reported doing bare-handed surgeries for lack of gloves.[10]

In Zimbabwe there are currently 56 confirmed cases of the coronavirus[11] and only a single testing facility in the whole country at Wilkins Hospital in Harare.[12]

Doctors and nurses working in public hospitals went on strike weeks ago over lack of PPE's, to use while treating patients.[13][14][15]

"Some countries like Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, and Ivory Coast have insurance for their health workers and have promised to provide them with allowances."[16]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ COVIDSurg, Collaborative; Nepogodiev, Dmitri; Bhangu, Aneel (12 May 2020). "Elective surgery cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic: global predictive modelling to inform surgical recovery plans". British Journal of Surgery. doi:10.1002/bjs.11746. ISSN 1365-2168. PMID 32395848. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  2. ^ Butler, Kiera. "China constructed new hospitals in days, and other lessons from their response to the coronavirus". Mother Jones.
  3. ^ "Japan 'is overwhelmed with sick patients'". BBC News.
  4. ^ Kliff, Sarah (2020-05-15). "Hospitals Knew How to Make Money. Then Coronavirus Happened". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  5. ^ "U.S. Hospitals Hit By Financial 'Triple Whammy' During Coronavirus Pandemic".
  6. ^ "261 hospitals furloughing workers in response to COVID-19".
  7. ^ "Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera". Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  8. ^ News, A. B. C. "ABC News". ABC News. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  9. ^ "CNN International - Breaking News, US News, World News and Video". CNN. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  10. ^ "Associated Press News". AP NEWS. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  11. ^ AfricaNews. "Africanews | Latest breaking news, daily news and African news from Africa". Africanews. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  12. ^ "Zimbabwean online fact-checking platform | ZimFact". ZimFact. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  13. ^ "Anadolu Ajansı". Anadolu Ajansı. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  14. ^ "Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera". Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  15. ^ Welle (, Deutsche. "News and current affairs from Germany and around the world | DW". DW.COM. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  16. ^ Welle (, Deutsche. "News and current affairs from Germany and around the world | DW". DW.COM. Retrieved 2020-05-26.