No healthcare system is “perfect”. This novel virus has been declared as a “pandemic” (wherein a vast majority of individuals have no prior immunity to it). There have been some rumours about this being biowarfare, but I digress. The range of plausible deniability is immense that would make it impossible for anyone to pin it down.
As such, the authors express their naivete here:
Another problem facing the U.S. health care system is its lack of reserve capacity to handle health care crises of the type that the country may now be experiencing. (The source of the high costs of U.S. health care is the inordinate prices charged for using what we have and not an oversupply of resources.) For example, the system’s supply of hospital beds has been declining for the past two decades because of hospital closures and mergers.
The reserve capacity is incredibly difficult to predict. Part of the reason is that healthcare planning doesn’t involve epidemiologists and their mathematical modelling to leaves much to be desired.
The acute onset of conditions and widespread disease response shouldn’t be made altruistically but realistically. Instead of reporting “deaths”, it should be a clear cut definition of what preceded those deaths. We have more people dying due to road accidents every day, but they aren’t reported for fear of hurting the business that drives car sales (I ride a cycle, so it doesn’t affect me).
If we expand the capacity waiting for the epidemics to strike, who is going to pay for the upkeep? The primary system of healthcare referrals needs to be dusted up with clear cut directions for triage. The warning signs need to be emphasised for referrals.