The CEO of the UK’s leading healthcare manufacturer has called for urgent funding for the healthcare sector to prevent a critical failure in the event of another pandemic or national emergency.
Graham Ewart, CEO of Direct Healthcare Group, said the past 16 months of the pandemic had resulted in an urgent need for significant investment.
“It is evident from the past 16 months that we urgently need targeted investment in the UK health system,” Graham said.
“Despite the clear and obvious failings throughout this pandemic, from the lack of PPE to overwhelming capacity pressures, my deepest fear is that we aren’t moving fast enough, or deep enough, to cover ourselves against future surges in infections or additional national emergencies.”
The boss of the leading UK healthcare products exporter added: “Just as in business, preparedness against a crisis is key for any functional society, yet from its outset, the COVID pandemic has starkly uncovered our worrying lack of preparation to navigate healthcare emergencies.
“Pitched against other European countries, our critical care teams in particular have been left vastly exposed. This is nothing new. The surges seen with the annual ‘flu season’ have been ongoing for over a decade, and yet far from investing in greater capacity, more preventative measures or higher wages to attract more into the sector – all of which would reduce the burden on healthcare, we have instead seen the sector struggle and falter, unjustly and unfairly, so much so that these ‘winter pressures’ have been accepted as a norm.
“In order to truly lead the world in healthcare and provide the very best care for those in need, we urgently need to see a firm commitment to long term planning and funding support from those at the top.
“Now is not the time for pride, but a time to draw on all aspects and learnings of the past 16 months, in order to improve the sector for those within it and those who benefit from its care.
“Without this commitment to investment, the ability to sustain our healthcare system against ongoing COVID pressures or future unexpected crises, is itself in critical care.”