Ambulance Charters during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Equitable Access to Scarce Resources

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Daniel Du Pont & Jill Baren


The novel coronavirus outbreak, like any pandemic, has brought with it many difficult choices. When demand for medical resources exceeds supply, healthcare providers have to make excruciating decisions about which patients will be offered treatment—not just intensive treatments, but any basic life support measures. The fundamental problem of rationing is that the distribution of hospital resources and services, such as ICU beds or ventilators, is a zero-sum game; if the healthcare system is overwhelmed, each patient who receives treatment represents one or more others who do not.

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