It it is critical for members of the public to heed the advice (and instructions) of regional governments and health authorities: Self isolation, sheltering in place, avoiding close contact, regular washing of hands, covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoid touching your face if your hands are not clean. These steps help protect you and reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
However, there will those of us who do not listen for various reasons (such as attending a funeral, or think they are immune because they are young, and will behave in a way contrary to what is being advised such as walking in parks, and crowding subways.
The problem of not following the advice and instructions, regardless of how inconvenient and annoying it is, is larger than most people think. As the virus continues to spread across CARICOM – with confirmed cases being reported ever day or every other day – the burden on the Region’s health care system will only increase.
On an international scale, and in first-world countries, health care systems are under tremendous pressure (scarce medical supplies, over-crowded facilities, exhausted staff, et cetera). Remember, health care professionals were busy dealing with “normal” medical cases, issues and/or emergencies before COVID-19 came on the scene. The virus, and it’s rapid spread, just increases the pressure on them. This made me wonder, at a fundamental level, how many health care professionals do we have Per Capita across the Region?
For the purpose of this blog post, I define Region as member and associate members of CARICOM. To further narrow the scope, I focused on medical doctors (physicians) only, as this data was available via the World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO) websites.
Two things to note: 1) At the time of this post, no data was available from my source websites for Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and Turks and Caicos Islands. 2) While most country data is as recent as 2015, 2017 and 2018, several Per Capita values were based on older data.
The Number of Medical Doctors (Physicians) Per Capita Across The Caribbean Are as Follows: