The covid-19 pandemic has affected people’s health and health care use on an increasing scale for over two years since its outbreak in 2020. During the height of the pandemic, health resources were deployed in a concentrated way for the diagnosis and treatment of covid-19 patients. Individuals on their part saw their ability to pay for health care decline as they suffered income loss as a consequence of the restrictions imposed on their economic activities. Fear of covid-19 infection, a psychological factor known to reduce compliance among patients with their health care needs, has led people to forgo receiving services at a health care institution or picking up prescription medications at a pharmacy, as reported in Anderson et al. (2021) as well as in this study.
People with chronic conditions need to draw on health care on a continuous basis. They are of particular concern, for their conditions are such that it is as unallowable to set aside their health care needs in a time of infectious disease as in normal times. It is essential that hypertensives and diabetics comply to their health care needs and get continued care especially in order to protect themselves from complications like myocardial infarction and stroke.
This brief examines the state of health care use, disease management, and delayed or forgone health care during the covid-19 pandemic as reported by hypertensives and diabetics. The survey on which this study is based was conducted during the period August 3~19 of a total of 1,500 adults aged 19 and older including 500 hypertensives and diabetics. The respondents were asked in the phone survey about the status of their health, unmet health care needs, and disease management.