Coronavirus relief dollars will help produce medical supplies, direct patient impact will take time, expert says

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Federal stimulus

Federal stimulus

A $2 trillion coronavirus relief package that includes billions in aid for hospitals and medical facilities is on its way to President Donald Trump, but health care workers won’t feel its impact for weeks, according to a University of Notre Dame business professor.

Kaitlin Wowak Portrait Hires Crop
Kaitlin Wowak

“While stimulus dollars may be able to help speed how quickly companies can increase their production capacity for personal protective equipment and other medical supplies, it could take some time for hospitals and doctors’ offices to have a stable amount of supplies to comprehensively treat patients who are infected with the coronavirus,” says Kaitlin Wowak, assistant professor of IT, analytics, and operations at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

“Suppliers that provide the raw materials needed to make such items have to increase their capacity in order to deliver more materials to manufacturers,” said Wowak who specializes in supply chain disruptions. “This could take time and may not be feasible if the suppliers are located in other parts of the world and are currently crippled by the coronavirus.”

With the coronavirus spreading at a shocking rate, Wowak expects the demand for personal protective equipment and other medical supplies to follow the same trajectory, which she said is troubling given the already massive shortage of such items at hospitals.

 

Contact: Kaitlin Wowak, katie.wowak@nd.edu