The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic showed the existing gaps in healthcare preparedness, especially in the case of pandemics. In most countries, health systems were overwhelmed with the unforeseen number of patients and overall deaths due to the lack of adequate public health measures. As a result, there has been an increased need for building resilience in the health sector to prevent such breakdowns and ensure long-term adaptability.
Public health forms the most essential aspect of populations due to the perceived negative impacts of health emergencies. The COVID-19 pandemic showed the underfunding and limited resources in this area in supporting the promotion and protection of community health. More so, the differences in planning responses also formed a critical aspect showing how policies can shape actions. According to Laage-Thomsen and Frandsen (2022) such differences may be due to “the varying degree of autonomy of public health experts and agencies in the countries in terms of defining and implementing policy measures to respond to the pandemic” (p.18). This shows the significant difference that policies can have on the outcome of responses to emergency situations such as the pandemic. Consequently, emergency health preparedness relies on the collaborative networks between health experts and governments to be effective.
Learning from the pandemic, the use of such measures as measures such as lockdowns and mass vaccinations had different outcomes based on the timing of the response. In future, governments must work together to harmonize polices that deal with emergency preparedness to ensure that outbreaks do not lead to extensive shutdowns of economies. More so, taking into consideration the importance of public health can ensure that appropriate tools are in place to help communities mitigate the overall effects of such pandemics.
Laage-Thomsen, J., & Frandsen, S. L. (2022). Pandemic preparedness systems and diverging COVID-19 responses within similar public health regimes: A comparative study of expert perceptions of pandemic response in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Globalization and Health, 18(3), 1-18.