In the second stage of the CQCS Innovation Latam, held this Thursday (23), physician Lior Baruch, who works in the insurance sector, manages health care networks in Latin America and the Caribbean, opens the panel “Pandemic’s impact on health insurance market ”, and made important on health insurance in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic.
Baruch has extensive knowledge and engagement in complex case management scenarios, as well as in the provision of medical care geared to patient quality and safety. In addition to working in the insurance, general surgery and trauma sectors, with extensive experience in the mobile emergency care service in the city of São Paulo, in addition to having medical students and residents as a guest professor at Escola Paulista de Medicina, a university where graduated. Lior Baruch also has an MBA in Health Systems and Hospital Management from Fundação Getúlio Vargas.
The doctor began his presentation by thanking the opportunity to participate in the event, with a quote from Martin Luther King: “We are not the ones who make history, we are part of history”.
“A disease that has already taken more than half a million people cannot be seen as a lesson that is not learned in history,” began Baruch, who recalls some historical facts, such as pandemics that occurred in the past. “I can name several pandemics. The oldest, during the Peloponnesian war, where two-thirds of the population of Athens died. It is suspected that a pandemic was one of the factors that made countries win a war, ”he said.
“In 1350 we had the second wave of bubonic plague, a disease that passed from Asia to Europe and eliminated almost half of the European population, dramatically changing the history of that continent. Quarantine was one of the effective measures adopted, which helped to end the pandemic. In Latin America, we had infectious diseases that decimated populations. Smallpox, coincidentally, decimated the Aztec population by 80% ”, he explained. “Then we had the Spanish flu, the most deadly in recent history, we have 500 million people infected and 50 million dead,” he said. “A scenario very similar to what we are experiencing today from the point of view of a pandemic, but not of absolute numbers”, added Baruch.
“People were encouraged to wear masks. Then they started using it wrongly or anything else to cover their faces. We started to experience the spread of a measure of social isolation by the press, field hospitals, we are talking about 1918, but it is very similar to 2020 ”, he pointed out.
“What was our life like before the coronavirus in 2019?” Asked Baruch. “Last details about the UK leaving the European Union, trade war between the United States and China, burned in the Amazon, that was a ‘normal life’, until the coronavirus appeared. A very contagious disease, and full of conflicting information ”, said the doctor.
Lior displayed indicators to show how the United States spends on health in relation to the European Union and other countries in Latin America. “The health scenario in the United States is not ideal, it is exorbitantly expensive. Just to give you an idea, 20% of Americans today have overdue bills for medical expenses, in addition to the slice that has no health insurance coverage despite the reform. Starbucks, for example, currently spends more on health than on coffee beans. The big move when compared to Latin America is access. Even if it fails, having access to public health coverage implies having a safe haven. It is the difference between something and nothing. If you live in any country in Latin America, you know. The public health system is usually overcrowded, and it is the worst possible scenario for a pandemic ”, he revealed.
Baruch also presented the Latin American mortality rate ranking related to Coronavirus, with Peru in first place; Chile in second; Brazil in third and Ecuador occupying the fourth place.
“Now, let’s think about the successful cases. Uruguay, with mandatory quarantine. There were also very favorable and well-designed policies of social distancing. Paraguay, despite the high level of poverty, has applied very strict public health measures that have had an effect. Costa Rica, with a public and universal health system covering 95% of its population, mobilized institutions to respond to the pandemic in a cohesive and collaborative manner, which helped to standardize the message for the population ”, he said.
“In the private health insurance landscape, we saw interesting measures in several countries. The expansion of telemedicine for example. Mexico is a great example, a very large insurance company started offering telemedicine not only to health insurance customers, but also to auto insurance customers. One of the positive legacies of this pandemic is going to be the use of telemedicine ”, he added.