Impact of COVID-19 on Emergency Medical Transportation in Healthcare Industry
The global outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 virus has led to a major public health problem due to the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of pandemic on healthcare services has been straining and governments as well as players in healthcare industry are monitoring demand types and volumes to anticipate future resource needs. The pandemic has led to a rise in demand for emergency transportation for medical services, however, in numerous cases the demand has been affected due to public apprehension for fear of infection regarding involvement with the health system.
The demand for emergency transportation is especially driven by customized transport vehicles offering emergency care services to COVID-19 patients such as inclusion of emergency transport ventilators. Several notable emergency transport manufacturers and providers have integrated advanced technologies and equipment in order to cope with the mounting emergency services demand. As a response to COVID-19, numerous players in the market are getting involved in strategic agreements and collaborations with companies in all parts of the value chain.
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COVID-19 pandemic has significantly driven the market for emergency medical transport across the world. The persistence of the COVID-19 for a prolonged period has driven the demand for emergency medical transportation.
Throughout the pandemic, the use of ambulances has risen. The demand for EMS (emergency medical service) such as medical transport for "time-sensitive diseases" such as heart conditions, strokes, and acute abdominal diseases among others has also increased. Increasing number of COVID-19 patients across globe has boosted the demand for emergency medical transportation and is anticipated to drive the market growth during the forecast period.
Increasing patient suffering from chronic diseases is a key factor driving the demand for emergency medical transportation services in the globe market, throughout the analysis period. Additionally, the growth in road accidents is also creating a need for ambulance or emergency services.
IMPACT ON PRICE
Emergency medical transportation (EMS) and acute medical service that insurance companies include in plans are affected due to the pandemic. For senior population the acute medical service offered by EMS transportation is available for hospitalization. These factors have increased the cost of ambulatory services. COVID-19 has impacted the emergency medical services due to surge in prices for emergency medical services.
EMS transportation is incentivized by major insurances across globe. However, the cost of emergency medical transportation has increased during the pandemic due to requirement of additional personal protective equipment, staff shortages, increasing cleaning and sanitization cost, and decreased reimbursement.
IMPACT ON DEMAND
The sudden rise of the COVID-19 pandemic enforced an optimistic impact on the global emergency medical transportation market growth in 2020. Rising demand for emergency medical transport for offering emergency care services for COVID-19 patients during the pandemic is driving the growth of the market. During COVID-19 pandemic, key ambulance service providers and equipment & vehicle manufacturers have incorporated various advanced technologies as well as boosted the production to deal with the increasing demand for emergency medical transportation and equipment.
The unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 has positively affected the demand for emergency medical transportation. In order to prevent the outbreak, NGOs, charity institutions, semi-governmental & governmental bodies are all focusing on deployment of emergency transportation. There are numerous startups that emerged to cope up with the high demand for emergency transportation.
· A startup called eSahai based in Hyderabad experienced heightened operations amid the pandemic outbreak with requests via mobile apps and call centers. The emerging services are especially in high demand for worst affected countries that lack necessary healthcare related resources.
The emergency services had an asset utilization issue where occupancy rate was very low. Most hospital emergency transportations are often stretched thin while private transports are under-utilized due to their lack of standards. The private transport owners’ lack of medical know-how has affected the quality of transport provided. The precaution and quality are especially relevant in cases of COVID-19 patients where the risk of infection is very high due to the contagious nature of the virus. The lower quality of the transportations has led to an increased and enhanced supply from budding startups and service businesses.
· StanPlus, an emergency transportation service served 10 times demand in 2021, where over 70% of the requests were COVID-19.
In response to the surge in demand for this equipment, vendors are raising funds and developing platforms and tools that meet the needs for COVID-19 surveillance and treatment. For instance,
· The American Ambulance Association recently begged the Department of Health and Human Services for USD 2.6 billion in emergency funding.
Emergency medical transportation such as ambulance providers are hostile to meet rising demand even though the cost has increased due to personal protective equipment, staff shortages, as well as decreased reimbursement.
IMPACT ON SUPPLY CHAIN
The government imposed total lockdown which led to supply chain disruptions. Consequently, the supply chain came to standstill due to the closure of borders. Even though the demand for ambulance and equipment use in emergency ambulance was high, the availability was affected due to disruptions in the supply chain, trade, and travel restrictions. Supply of raw material was also affected, due to which the production was restricted. Bottlenecks in the supply were foreseen due to limited production. Still, some companies managed to overcome the challenges and saw high growth.
Government has also taken initiatives to regularize the supply of equipment uses in ambulance and emergency medical vehicles. So there is limited effect of COVID-19 on supply chain on the emergency medical transportation market.
The supply chain and logistic disruption of equipment use in emergency medical transportation and disruption in ambulance manufacturing has hampered the market for initial phase of pandemic however this equipment are considered under essential medical devices, due to which it’s supply is regularized during the pandemic situation.
STRATEGIC DECISIONS BY SERVICE PROVIDER AND PRODUCT MANUFACTURER
As the reality of COVID-19 dawned upon the world, the service provider, manufacturers and production units of companies involved in emergency medical transportation formed strategies to deal with the limitation that occurred due to coronavirus and keep their business running.
All providers had developed special procedures and safety instructions in preparation for COVID-19. Ground ambulance transport was the preferred mode of emergency medical transport in primary missions, whereas air ambulance transport was preferred for interfaculty emergency medical transport.
Several manufacturers are following similar strategic patterns and procedures to gain an edge on decisions taken regarding production as well as sales.
Several manufacturers of emergency medical transportation market also coming forward to help each other in terms of finance as well as other market parameters to not only save the market scenario but to save themselves from the brutal grasp of the pandemic.
Pandemic has taken a toll on every aspect of life, including the global economy. With the significant downfalls in many sectors, a collaborative effort of government, industry players, and consumers can win the fight against COVID-19.
It still continues to inflict the world with appalling economic and social dilemmas, capable enough to leave severe backlash on the economy for the next several years. The first wave had already inflicted severe blows to the population as well as the economy. The currently experiencing second wave is expected to be more disastrous not only to the masses but also to food and beverages markets.
Moreover, key companies and government bodies are exclusively concentrating on how they can make the effective and best contribution to control the spread of the virus and save lives. Key companies are dealing with the suddenly increasing demand for emergency medical transportation services by implementing various strategies to overcome current problem and to fulfil the rising demand for emergency medical transportation.
COVID-19 has impacted each sector with no exception. The emergency medical transportation market has been affected the same. With rising number of COVID-19 patients led to increased demand for emergency medical transportation. Global emergency medical transportation market is experiencing a boost due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic due to the above given factors. Global emergency medical transportation market is experiencing a boost due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.