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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 87-91

Barriers to health-care access amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in children with non-coronavirus disease illnesses from India

Department of Pediatrics, Maulana Azad Medical College and Associated Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Aashima Dabas
Department of Pediatrics, Maulana Azad Medical College and Associated Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jascp.jascp_21_21

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Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the nationwide lockdown have resulted in profound disruptions in health care. Thus, the study was done to assess the barriers faced by caregivers of children with chronic diseases in accessing healthcare services due to the lockdown. Methods: A questionnaire-based telephonic survey was performed after 2 months of nationwide lockdown in children with chronic diseases at a tertiary hospital in India. Barriers faced were recorded and compared with the place of residence and socioeconomic status (SES). Results: A total of 101 children with mean ± standard deviation age of 9.7 ± 3.6 years and median (interquartile range) disease duration of 48 (12, 84) months were included. The majority (84.6%) was on daily therapy and 65.3% reported disrupted treatment. Patients residing away from the capital had greater difficulty in investigations and in transport to the hospital (P < 0.05) compared to those in the capital. Patients from lower SES had more difficulty in procuring medications (64.1% and 35.4%; P = 0.006), transport (62.3% and 29.1%; P = 0.003), and perceived significant effect of COVID-19 on their child (47.2% and 16.7%; P = 0.002) compared to middle SES. Conclusions: Disrupted health-care access during COVID-19 suggests the need for health-care systems to be better equipped to manage patients with chronic illnesses during such pandemics.

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