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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-26

Collateral effects and ethical challenges in healthcare due to COVID-19 – A dire need to support healthcare workers and systems

1 Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Ethicist, College Campus, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jaya Ranjalkar
Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1653_20

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COVID-19 has affected the daily activities of people across the globe. The effects of the pandemic have not just been medical, but also societal and economical. The responses of government and the public have varied in different countries. Measures have ranged from improving hygiene, information dissemination, and social distancing to more radical measures such as social isolation, quarantine and lockdown. The disease and human responses have had consequences on the way we live, work, eat and rest. Life and livelihoods have been affected. This article highlights how the response to the pandemic has affected various aspects of healthcare and ethical dilemmas this has raised. As the pandemic progresses, awareness and evaluation of the unintended consequences of the pandemic and responses on our health and healthcare systems are needed. Discussing these points and being aware of the ethical issues may help countries and policy makers plan suitable strategies to mitigate these collateral effects, especially as the pandemic continues. It is hoped that this article will support healthcare workers, especially those in primary and secondary healthcare, as they overcome various challenges to treat patients with existing and prior diseases, and encourage them to advocate for robust and sustainable healthcare systems for public health. This would then help effectively combat future epidemics. Most importantly, it can mitigate the adverse collateral effects on healthcare that the public are experiencing and the treatment dilemmas that family and primary care physicians are facing.

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