The year 2020 can be deemed as the year of disruption with Covid-19 throwing all possible established modus operandi into the air and ushering in multiple levels of restructuring. The impact has been the worst forthe Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals. Healthcare broadly comprises of Medical Devices, Blood Bank, Pharmaceuticals, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and Medical Supplies. Each of these components works in close conjunction with one another and a crackdown in any of these individual supply chains can wreak havoc on the entire healthcare ecosystem.

The impact of COVID-19 on each of the components of the healthcare system are described below:

1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)- By March 2020, everyone on earth knew what PPE was. What previously did not experience high demand in the market suddenly became one of the most prized medical commodities. Right from N95 masks, face shields, gloves, and gowns everything seemed to be falling short in supply. The production meltdowns, geographic placements of manufacturers and regulations imposed by quarantines created great distress in initial months. Furthermore, the hospitals and the healthcare workers competing to source PPE from the same channel created further distress.

2. Medical Devices- Ventilators and pulse oximeters were two critical devices that witnessed a great market demand since the onset of COVID-19. The prices shot up owing to manufacturing shortfalls and the entire healthcare system suffered because of not being able to source the same and offer healthcare services to many.

3. Medical Supplies- The pandemic resulted in an increasing demand for testing kits, surgical supplies along with intravenous kits. Due to a fearful lack of each of these in the face of growing number of infections globally put immense pressure on those working not only in the frontlines but also on those toiling in the administration and supply chain.

4. Pharmaceuticals- With the supply chain of active ingredients of generic medicine from China getting disruptive, the manufacturers globally faced increased distress. With the tier-1 supplier disconnected, it took a bit of time to establish the connect and strengthen the supply chain with tier-2 and tier-3 suppliers across the globe. Alternately the plaguing challenge was to re-shore the entire manufacturing for critical drugs and create a dual supply chain for emergencies.

5. Blood Banks- The world almost ran into a frenzy trying to locate plasma donors.. There was no proper mechanism in place to facilitate and channelize the plasma donor to donate at a time when the demand was high.

The above analysis puts forth the lack of preparedness and having a contingency plan in place to mitigate unforeseen situations such as COVID-19 pandemic. So, taking a cue from the ongoing situation, it is almost imperative for healthcare professionals to take it upon themselves to acquire futuristic skills for developing certain kind of readiness to take on challenges. Professionals can explore courses in the likes of Post Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Management offered by IIM Indore in collaboration with Hughes Education.

The course content of this particular course has been meticulously developed keeping in perspective the unforeseen challenges that can plague the healthcare ecosystem at any point in time. Right from covering functional and domain knowledge, the course focusses on fostering innovation and future healthcare leaders with an eye for innovation and analytics.