The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global scale cannot be denied. It has affected around 180 countries and millions of lives. It has taken around 1.6 million lives, and the number of cases as of December has reached 76 million.
Even with the first vaccines already given out, it will be safe to assume that the virus is here to stay for a while. To continue with how you are doing things is a recipe for disaster. Businesses, both in the private and public sectors, should adapt to the pandemic and change how they operate. This is to ensure the continuity of their operations and the safety of their employees and clients. From crisis response, setting up operations during the pandemic, and planning for long-term recovery, organizations should have a plan to mitigate the pandemic risks.
Before the pandemic ravaged the world, governments and businesses, both in public and private sectors, were already tackling worldwide issues such as sustainability and climate change. This required innovation as well as an additional investment. Processes were improved, and changes were implemented. Of course, shifting to a fully sustainable business model might not be possible for some industries.
However, the change needed to surpass the pandemic is a must, regardless of the industry. From ensuring safe hiring policies, which include utilizing public sector recruitment consultants, to putting in place operations policies that prioritize the public’s safety, institutions must clearly change to survive and adapt.
The Role Of The Public Sector In The Midst Of A Health Crisis
The pandemic highlighted the importance of the role of the public sector in shaping up society. From the public health system to government services, the public sector workers were put to the forefront. It also highlighted the need to improve the public sector’s capacity and capabilities in delivering essential services.
For example, many countries, even the US and the UK, have discovered the vulnerabilities of their public health care system when faced with a pandemic. Increasing the production of health equipment such as personal protective equipment, ventilators, and test kits were difficult. Outsourcing the production of these essentials for economic reasons backfired grandly.
Countries that have shown resilience and efficiency, such as South Korea and Germany, were successful because of the government’s large ownership in the production of critical health care elements. Mass testing, which is critical in curbing the spread of COVID-19, was successful in both countries because of public laboratories and their capability to supply the needed protective equipment.
Rising To The Challenge Of The Times
The public sector has definitely risen to the challenge of the virus, regardless if they were fully equipped or not. Health workers, social welfare officers, public school teachers, policemen, and other public workers were suddenly placed under the spotlight. Being quick to adapt was essential in minimizing the impacts of the pandemic.
They took on the responsibility of serving the public, conducting tests, responding to emergencies, monitoring people with travel histories and close contact with a COVID patient, and ensuring that people follow safety protocols. In some countries, the public sector was also responsible for providing its constituents’ basic needs during government-mandated lockdowns.
Critical health and public workers were constantly facing the risks of exposure to the highly contagious virus as they helped ensure continuity in public services. The shortage in proper PPEs made it even riskier for health workers who worked in COVID wards, with some even sacrificing their lives.
Maintaining Sustainability And Resilience Beyond The COVID-19 Pandemic
The world has experienced several health crises and pandemics before, and the COVID-19 will certainly not be the last. The public sector must prepare beyond the current pandemic. The lessons gleaned from the COVID-19 crisis can be used to improve existing processes to ensure responsiveness and effectiveness in a future crisis.
Comprehensive capacity development of the public sector is important for institutions to provide the services expected from them. Well-planned and coordinated emergency response is necessary among different public sector groups to ensure reliability and efficiency. Allocating sufficient financial resources is also important for emergencies and unforeseen health crisis to ensure that the public sector is equipped to deliver its tasks.