Covid-19 – New Strategy Long Overdue

Time has moved on and a new Covid-19 variant has moved in, Omicron. Although this is far more transmissible the severity of the illness it causes is very much reduced compared with previous strains. Now is the time to change the National Health Strategy to start treating the people who do not have Covid-19 proportionately.

Lets look at the current statistics (9th Jan 2022 UK).
At present about 1600 people die each day from all causes.
There are about 2 million Lateral Flow Tests taken each day of which about 200,000 or 10% are positive. Of these roughly 2,200 (1.1%) are admitted to hospital and last week 156 died each day with Covid-19 but not necessarily of it (due to co-morbidities like obesity, diabetes, chest diseases, cancer, heart conditions etc).

In summary the breakdown of major causes of death are:
460 from Heart Disease (29%)
450 from Cancer (28%)
156 with Covid-19 and most with co-morbidities (10%)

So the time has come to realise that Covid-19 is contributing a very small amount to current daily death rate. Whereas Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, Joint replacement, Chest complaints and Obesity represent the vast majority of the demand on the NHS. Clearly it needs to refocus to prioritise their treatment.

We must transition from the mindset of a National Covid-19 Service back to a National Health Service that is inclusive for all diseases and medical needs.

So please, no more text messages from our GPs telling us we are on the ‘back burner’. Isolate the treatment of Covid-19 patients in all Hospitals and get back to running an inclusive medical service for the population’s known needs at the GP level and Hospital level.

When? Now!

Acknowledgements to Dr Alan Latham for contributing the numbers.

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