Changes in Health Care Access during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Estimates of National Japanese Data, June 2020–October 2021

Yuta Tanoue, Cyrus Ghaznavi, Takayuki Kawashima, Akifumi Eguchi, Daisuke Yoneoka, Shuhei Nomura*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted health care access around the world, both for inpatients and outpatients. We applied a quasi-Poisson regression to national, monthly data on the number of outpatients, number of inpatients, length of average hospital stay, and the number of new hospitalizations from March 2015 to October 2021 to assess how these outcomes changed between June 2020 to October 2021. The number of outpatient visits were lower-than-predicted during the early phases of the pandemic but normalized by the fall of 2021. The number of inpatients and new hospitalizations were lower-than-predicted throughout the pandemic, and deficits in reporting continued to be observed in late 2021. The length of hospital stays was within the predicted range for all beds, but when stratified by bed type, was higher than predicted for psychiatric beds, lower-than-predicted for tuberculosis beds, and showed variable changes in long-term care insurance beds. Health care access in Japan was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8810
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume19
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Japan
  • health care access
  • healthcare capacity
  • hospital beds
  • hospital stay
  • outpatient visit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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