Advancing Supply Chain Resilience for Canadian Health Systems
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed significant fragilities in the current capacity and function of global healthcare supply chains. During the first wave of the pandemic, long, undiversified, and lean global supply chains were destabilized by a massive surge in demand for care, that required high volumes of critical health products for care delivery (Snowdon, Saunders & Wright, 2021). China, the primary manufacturer of a number of critical health products and the first site of a COVID-19 outbreak, temporarily shuttered its manufacturing capacity. As a result, there were severe product shortages across every global health system. Manufacturers were unable to rapidly scale their production capacity to meet the sudden and dramatic increase in the demand for critical products, which resulted in a destabilizing “ripple effect” across global healthcare supply chains. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the surge in supply demands it created, exposed the fragility that rapidly destabilized these global healthcare supply chains. This destabilization of healthcare supply chains impacted every jurisdiction in Canada and touched the lives of healthcare workers, patients, citizens, and non-permanent residents (such as temporary foreign workers).
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