2020 has been a tumultuous year for medical services, and disability services have, in particular, suffered as a result. Research reported by New Jersey 101.5 found that service shortages had particularly impacted children living with disability, and there was a severe risk of these shortages causing long-term problems for those diagnosed with a long-term condition. As New Jersey moves towards a new normal, addressing this gap will be crucial.
An emergency plan
Rectifying emergency needs is a critical milestone in a wider plan. A reduction in even some treatment can be incredibly damaging. Take, for example, cerebral palsy therapy, which can have a serious impact on the development of children if restricted for even a small period of time – a lack of physical therapy can have serious impacts on physical health. This immediate need for service is something being addressed; congressman Dan Benson has tabled a piece of legislation that will help to secure emergency funding for the most crucial of care requirements.
Expanding the net
Although the most crucial care can be addressed in the short-term, the needs of those less pressing conditions must be met too. In the long-term, people diagnosed with these conditions can still undergo significant decline if not receiving the requisite level of care. As a result, legislators and healthcare professionals must look to define the most at-risk conditions and address them with as much urgency as possible once the most vital areas have been covered.
A long term solution
This reshuffling of healthcare priorities gives administrators the opportunity to look at wide-scale and systemic lack of access to care. NJ Spotlight note that those living with disability have had a difficult time obtaining the right care for a long time, with third party services providing care to over 5,000 families in the state who were unable to secure healthcare at the first point of contact. A new look at how healthcare functions in the state is a chance to redo the entire the system to the point that everyone has access.
Ultimately, those who are least fortunate will have less access to healthcare. When it comes to living with disability, this often means less of a chance at a good quality of life in general. Making sure this accessibility is extended across difficult times is crucial to making sure the care gap is met and that everyone enjoys the best quality of life they can.