What does a pandemic proof health system look like?

Michel, Janet; Sauter, Thomas C; Tanner, Marcel (2021). What does a pandemic proof health system look like? Global Health Action, 14(1), p. 1927315. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/16549716.2021.1927315

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Switzerland is currently in a lockdown and other lockdowns are looming world-wide. Many countries in the West are now experiencing a third COVID-19 wave. While some scientists are aiming for Zero Covid, calls to learn to live with the virus are becoming prominent as anti-lockdown protests spread across Europe. A health system is defined as all organizations, institutions and resources that produce actions whose primary purpose is to improve health. A health care system on the other hand, is defined as institutions, people and resources involved in delivering health care to individuals. Many countries that have health systems previously thought to be world class, have also been tested, pushed to the edge and in some ways found wanting. The pandemic took all countries by some surprise and the discussion on appropriate national and global strategies is very diverse. Lessons from similar earlier outbreaks seem to suggest, that living and learning to live with the virus could be the way forward. Others argue that the virus is new, not like any other we have fought before, calling for novel ways of containing the virus. Irrespective of standpoint, being a high-, middle- or low-income country, pandemic fatigue is setting in, while new variants are being discovered. It is urgent and unprecedented. The pandemic is here and more pandemics are expected to follow. What does, ‘living with the virus,’ mean in practical terms? The purpose of this viewpoint is to stimulate debate on how we can move towards pandemic proof health care systems.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > University Emergency Center

UniBE Contributor:

Michel, Janet and Sauter, Thomas Christian


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Taylor & Francis




Romana Saredi

Date Deposited:

08 Dec 2021 10:28

Last Modified:

12 Dec 2021 02:17

Publisher DOI:






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