50,000 healthy years lost in first Covid wave: Public health institute
The postponement and cancellation of doctor's appointments during the first wave of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands will eventually lead to 50 thousand healthy years of life being lost, public health institute RIVM said in a report titled "Impact of the first Covid-19 wave on regular care and health".
At the height of the first Covid-19 wave, regular healthcare in the Netherlands came nearly to a halt. Doctors appointments, treatments and surgeries at hospitals, GPs and other healthcare institutions were postponed or canceled between March and August. The health benefits achieved by these treatments were therefore lost, the RIVM said.
50 thousand healthy years lost does not automatically mean death. A large proportion of those years involve years with a reduced quality of life. "The proportion of premature deaths is relatively smaller," the RIVM said.
Most of the healthy years lost are the results of treatments not performed within the specialties ophthalmology and orthopedics, like cataract, hip or knee surgery, the public health institute said. A loss of vision or mobility can have an immediate and significant impact on quality of life