Post-acute neurological consequences of COVID-19: an unequal burden

Appropriate health insurance coverage will remove a significant barrier to accessing neurological services16.17. In the United States alone, most of the 31 million uninsured adults forgo diagnostic and treatment opportunities due to financial problems. Universal health care was proposed by the World Health Organization to enable people to access the health services they need without financial hardship, and should be supported by the neurological community, whose members can learn and engage in efforts that define a path to universal health care17,18,19.

In countries without universal health care, there is an urgent need for medical care and support services for patients with COVID-19, many of whom face financial barriers to health care. The U.S. government has allocated government funds for COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts, but there is a funding gap for post-acute clinical COVID-19 services, including physical rehabilitation, mental health, home health, long-term care and other health care. services often not covered by health insurance. A successful example of a comprehensive care model is the United States’ Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, a discretionary measure created three decades ago in the face of yet another public health crisis.20. The Ryan White Program collaborates with a wide range of federal, state and local stakeholders, including community-based organizations, working together to implement public health interventions to prevent and reduce HIV transmission, improve clinical care and achieve positive health. results, while addressing the disproportionate impact of HIV on Black, Latino, Indigenous and uninsured communities.

Black, Latino and Indigenous people are overrepresented as essential workers, with low-paying jobs, a lack of adequate benefits such as paid time off and limited access to personal protective equipment, all of which contribute to disproportionate impact of COVID-19, including its neurological effects. sequels. Research to understand the acute and post-acute neurological consequences of COVID-19 should focus on people’s experiences and lives. Patient-centered research will require a commitment to dismantling the systemic forms of oppression that resulted in disparate suffering among marginalized communities long before this pandemic. It starts with naming racism and engaging in anti-racism solutions to achieve health justice in and beyond neurology, including improving access to neurological assessments, treatments, and research options. quality. Prioritizing equity today will improve the delivery of neurological care well beyond this pandemic.

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