General health care takes a big Covid-19 hit
Hospitals are urged not to treat non-Covid patients until they can respond to a new coronavirus surge
So many ordinary activities have been put on hold in the time of coronavirus, but one stands out as an especially punishing loss: people have sharply curtailed their non-Covid health care — not just easily postponed check-ups, but also tumour removals, diabetes tests, prenatal visits, kidney transplants, vaccines, even emergency care after heart attacks (https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/23/coronavirus-phobia-keeping-heart-patients-away-from-er/).
Since early March in-person doctor visits have fallen about 60% (https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/2020/apr/impact-covid-19-outpatient-visits) in the US. Cancer screenings have dropped between 86% and 94% (https://www.statnews.com/2020/05/04/cancer-screenings-drop-coronavirus-pandemic-epic/). And until recently many hospitals were turning away all patients except those with Covid-19, often by order of state officials (https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/04/22/governor-newsom-announces-plan-to-resume-delayed-health-care-that-was-de...