COVID-19 Failures of State Exposes Age-Based Inequities in Health Care: Calls for Radical Change

The Centre for Ageing Better

First Minister Mark Drakeford’s government’s decision making during the pandemic was under scrutiny last month at the Covid-19 Inquiry in Cardiff.

This newly published paper highlights the failures of state decision making in exacerbating older people’s health and social care conditions, which before the COVID-19 pandemic already put them at risk of harm and indignity.

A paper by Dr Bethany Simmonds explores the impact of state decision making during COVID-19 on older individuals, shedding light on the age-discrimination which occurred particularly in the first wave of the pandemic.

The paper scrutinizes the life-and-death decisions made during the pandemic, often using age as a determinant for healthcare allocation. Examples cited include controversial practices such as ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ orders, unsafe hospital discharges, and denying access to treatment.

In response to these alarming findings, the paper advocates for a paradigm shift towards a feminist care ethic in shaping future health and social care systems.

Emphasizing the urgent need for political reconfiguration, the paper calls for a radical overhaul of existing frameworks, advocating for a system that rethinks care relations and tackles entrenched inequalities.

Amidst the ongoing battle against COVID-19, this paper serves as a reminder of the imperative to address age-based disparities in healthcare provision, urging policymakers to embrace a more inclusive and equitable approach to care.

Read the paper here:


Dr Bethany Simmonds

Bethany Simmonds | LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on the Centre for Welsh Politics and Society website.

Image credit: Centre for Ageing Better