The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human life has led to profound consequences in almost all societies worldwide, and this includes its significant impact on all aspects of health. Health equity has been among the main challenges in any healthcare system. However, with the COVID-19 crisis worsening health inequalities, the need to prioritize health equity in upstream national and international plans must receive scholarly attention. Therefore, this paper reports the findings of a review of the current synthesized evidence about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health equity.
This is a comprehensive review in which we retrieved relevant studies during the period starting from 12/01/2019 to 01/15/2021 are retrieved from various databases. The PRISMA flow diagram and a narrative approach are used for synthesizing the evidence.
We initially retrieved 1173 studies, and after a primary quality appraisal process, 40 studies entered the final phase of analysis. The included studies were categorized into five main outcome variables: Accessibility (95%), Utilization (65.8%), Financial protection: 15 (36.5%), Poverty (31.7%), and Racism (21.9%)
COVID-19 pandemic has been the most devastating global challenge in recent history. While the COVID-19 crisis is still unfolding, its multidimensional adverse effects are yet to be revealed. Nevertheless, some people, e.g., the elderly, minorities, as well as marginalized and poor persons, have suffered the COVID-19 consequences more than others. In line with the whole government/whole society approach, we advocate that governments need to strengthen their special efforts to reduce the extra burden of the pandemic on the most vulnerable populations.