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How Do COVID-19 Affect Gastroenterology Practice Now and Beyond?

How Do COVID-19 Affect Gastroenterology Practice Now and Beyond?

22 Aug 2021 10:32 10:44
(12 mins)
Leung Wai-Keung Speaker
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COVID-19 has brought in unprecedented challenge to the world, including our gastroenterology practices. The APDW 2020 has then been changed from face-to-face meeting to the current virtual format after a delay of one year. During the early phase of COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed a significant drop in the volume of endoscopy performed globally due to multiple reasons including risk of hospital acquired infection, lack of PPE, service reprioritization and staff deployment, etc. This is associated with a delay in gastrointestinal cancer diagnosis and treatment, which could impact on the long-term survival of these patients. Apart from endoscopy services, even routine care of IBD patients have been seriously affected. Use of telemedicine flourishes during the pandemics and there is a renewed interest on the home-based monitoring of fecal calprotectin and the use of non-intravenous based biologics. Although the COVID-10 vaccination has brought in new hope for the end of this pandemic, the availability of vaccine and the vaccine hesitancy in many Asian countries have delayed the recovery process. It is further hampered by the actual benefits of existing vaccines on the virus variants. The psychological well beings of many health care workers as well as the delay on fellow’s training are other aspects that need more attention. The world, including our practices, may never return to pre-COVID levels and it is time to ride on these new challenges and prevails.

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