We have been predicting for quite some time that medical flights will eventually have to play a major role in making healthcare accessible to rural America during the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has now spread to rural communities. The problem that these areas are mainly encountering is the lack of beds. The highly infectious disease is gripping people in the hundreds in some areas each day. Some hospitals have even stopped taking in new patients due to this fact. In addition, there are those patients who have other medical emergencies. The only recourse for all such people is medical flights.
Medical Flights and Patient Distribution
The United States has one of the best healthcare systems in the world; however, the concentration of hospital beds is more in urban areas. Moreover, many rural hospitals have closed down in recent years. In essence, the problem is not of lack of hospital beds per se but their distribution. Medical flights can put an end to this skew by transporting patients quickly so that they receive timely treatment for better outcomes.
Coordination will be Key in the Coming Days
The United States today has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the entire world and the cases are rising. With the number of cases going in the upwards of 50,000 each day, it is obvious that a sizeable population is going to require in-hospital care. It is, therefore, necessary to keep the medical flights in the equation so that the distribution of patients for optimal utilization of hospital beds can be achieved. It would be wise to set up control centers at the state or even county levels to keep a tab on factors such as the availability of beds and medical flights. It is only then that lives can be saved through timely treatment.