"Early detection of a new infectious disease—and potentially the survival of those who are infected—requires that sick people have access to the health care system and receive early treatment. Delays in seeking care can lead to delays in the recognition and control of an epidemic and in the treatment of patients. Indeed, experts have hypothesized that one reason the mortality associated with the current epidemic of swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus (S-OIV) was so high in Mexico is that many people delayed seeking care, in part because of its cost. In the United States, lack of health insurance is a key reason for delays in seeking care; health care reform that results in universal coverage would facilitate earlier detection of new diseases, enable disease-control efforts to be instituted, and alleviate the population’s vulnerability that is attributable to delayed care."Read the whole thing here.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Healthcare reform and infection prevention
From an excellent piece in the NEJM, by Dr. Nicole Lurie, that nicely links healthcare reform, infection prevention and the public health: