Did you know post covid, almost 81% of the employees in India faced not just financial distress, but also suffered mental and physical anguish? Though it has been more than two years since the deadly coronavirus made an entry into our lives, many of us are still trying to come out of the disruptions the pandemic caused. A majority continues to face tremendous challenges, that too in just about every field.
With the worst days, hopefully over, the covid-19 related costs have become much more predictable. However, the challenges are likely to linger in 2023, and maybe beyond. Leaders across the globe find it difficult to invest enough in healthcare systems, which further puts the economies in jeopardy. Let us take a look at the challenges that pose in front of us:
India recorded medical inflation at a whopping 14% in the year 20211. Highest in Asia, these numbers are a clear indication that healthcare costs are rising by the day, making it all the more difficult for the common man to afford good quality medical treatments. While most people are now understanding the importance of health insurance and are opting for a higher sum insured, the sector of retail health insurance plan is still at a low penetration of 3.5% of India’s total population.
The financial year 2022 also witnessed a price hike in health insurance. Even group health insurance has seen a hike of 5% to almost 40%1. Fortunately, it is hoped that health insurance prices will soon stabilize in case there is no more Covid wave.
Mental health challenges
The pandemic not only brought an increase in mortality and morbidity rates, but it also caused psychological issues among people across age groups. A lot of cases of post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, lonesomeness, depression, and negative adjustment styles were observed. Fear of losing their jobs, challenges of working from home, dependency on alcohol, and increased burden on the homemakers, are all issues that would take some more time to resolve.
Unaware or unable to understand most of the constant changes happening around them, many young children and adolescents are still facing issues like nervousness, isolation, anxiety, temper tantrums and sadness.
The Reserve Bank of India faces newer challenges in the form of soring dollar, falling rupee, high rate of interest and external financing. While things started to seem to get back on track post-covid the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, now poses another crisis. The European countries, the UK and the USA are facing economic problems too.
While the persistent inflation continues to be an opponent for India, the tight financial conditions, weak productivity and slowing consumer spending are sparking concerns about an upcoming recession. The year 2023 may thus bring with it an economic downturn. However, India tries to fight the challenges head-on and most financial experts still see the country as a bright spot in the dismal global scenario.
The way the world works has also seen a major transformation. While 2020 introduced us to Work from Home, 2023 brings the hybrid model. It is estimated that if a company wishes to go back to the onsite/ offline arrangement, it risks losing almost 1/3rd of its workforce2. Thus, more and more offices now need to come up with a human-centric model that is employee-friendly.
Not just India, but the whole world has witnessed a major loss of output in 2023, which could have risen to 23% had the covid never happened. Projected now at 17%, the estimated cost of the pandemic to the world is 17 trillion dollars. The year 2022 also saw an upsurge in the prices of food and fuel, and directly attacked the budget of the common Indian citizen.
Covid made us realise that while the countries of the world were spending millions to protect themselves from wars or terrorists, they couldn’t do enough to guard their countrymen from the deadly virus. The social and economic damage caused by it has been far greater than warfare. While India shares its concerns with the world, the responsibilities are shared too. Communities and governments need to work together and achieve critical goals. There cannot be any shortcuts to a healthier world.
Disclaimer: The content provided is for education and informational purpose only, none of the information contained in our blog amounts to any form of opinion or advice. Please go through policy related documents carefully or consult an expert before making any insurance-related decisions.