The purpose of this paper is to fill in the gaps in the literature regarding health-care access for individuals with schizophrenia, with a focus on Ecuador, and how technology can enable health-care access during the pandemic.
To achieve this aim, the author reviewed peer-reviewed articles in English and Spanish (using, among other sources, Medline and ProQuest), the Ecuadorian Constitution, law projects on mental health and suicide and government reports.
The consensus seems to be that the Ecuadorian health-care system has failed in its constitutional mandate to provide essential care for mentally ill patients, such as those suffering from schizophrenia. The data supporting the use of the internet and smartphone technology for delivering health services during the pandemic are extremely clear, but substantive governmental responses have been lacking.
The major limitation of this study is the lack of data on schizophrenia in Ecuador and the use of technology.
This evaluation of the current literature on the effect of the pandemic on access to health care for patients suffering from mental illness is much-needed and should provide a welcome data source for research, practice and policymaking.
The author would like to express her deep gratitude to the Economist Cecilia Castro and Verónica Castro, MSW for their valuable support on this study. The author received no specific funding for this work.
Castro, V. (2021), "Could technology enable individuals with schizophrenia to access health care? The case of Ecuador", Journal of Enabling Technologies, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 77-86. https://doi.org/10.1108/JET-01-2021-0002
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