DHBs Likely To See Substantive Overload As COVID Lockdown Ends
Unequivocally, vaccines are highly effective at reducing hospitalisations. But this data must be taken in context to overall trend analysis from several highly vaccinated nations including Israel and Singapore. Data from these nations’ Health Ministries shows an adverse result to health services volumes post lockdown.
Messaging around mandatory vaccinations to protect health services from overload will decay post lockdown. The mandating of vaccinations is unlikely to prevent break through infections, nor will it prevent the coming loads on the health care services across the public system caused by critical, tangential factors.
The trend analysis from SINGAPORE and ISREAL, both having had highly vaccinated populaces, shows early signs of the the following:
HOSPITALISATIONS RETURN TO PEAK LOADS - Even with substantially high numbers of fully vaccinated people the hospitals came under greater pressure due to a jump in demand.
Some of the increased demand, especially as presented in SINGAPORE, from people who had been told of the danger of the illness while also being told the vaccinations are the solution.
Singapore’s own Health Ministry figures showed a portion of these people found themselves with break through infections and then inundated hospitals. In SINGAPORE many of these people were found to have minor cases but nevertheless arrived at hospital due to their fear. This is the same fear paradoxically was stoked by governments trying to reduce burden on the hospital system.
MANDATING FAILS TO PREVENT PEAK VOLUMES - Mandating vaccinations has had little impact on overall hospital burden because additional factors are being ignored by leaders.
The vaccine used in New Zealand has proven exemplary to reducing symptoms and improving morbidity numbers. However, this same vaccine also used extensively in ISREAL, did not thwart overall DHB demand especially around indirect causes including mental health and trauma.
New Zealand can expect increasing volumes from these additional factors including hospitalisations related to growing mental health illness and admissions resulting from violent crime traumas.
MENTAL HEALTH IS A CRITICAL COMPONENT OF SUCCESS
Unfortunately, the leadership in Parliament has not prioritised overt aspects of health care failings that have either likely been exacerbated, if not directly caused by COVID prevention policies.
Mental health issues and criminality, if other highly vaccinated nations are a sampling, will see definitive increases over the next 3-6 months as New Zealand opens up.
There will be growing social unrest and dissatisfaction across the political spectrum, as the general populace sees expanding numbers of break-through infections.
Preventing substantial health services failing over the coming year, while reducing the decay of voting support, will require leadership to reign in divisive rhetoric and policies, while substantially funding periphery aspects of COVID-19 response.
One such critical area requiring immediate funding is mental health services across DHBs and NGOs.
As other nations with high vaccination rates have learned, the original goal of reducing impact on the national health services cannot succeed if isolated primarily to vaccination funding.
On the current course New Zealand will see an increase in hospital overload, burnout of existing staff, with limited success in employing additional health care staff, concurrently seeing an overall degradation of the public health system. This will be statistically verifiable with increasing patient deaths.
Trend analysis of other countries with high vaccination rates shows the overt decaying impact on both health services and national socio-economic stability when mental health and crime prevention are not properly funded as part of post COVID lockdowns.
Mark Rais is the creator of the think tank Trend Analysis Network, writer for the technology and science industry and volunteer senior editor for an on-line magazine. He has published several books and written numerous articles on the topics of macro-economics, technology and society.