Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The health care industry lost more than 1.4 million jobs in April, and more than four out of five of those lost jobs were at dentists, doctors, chiropractors and other outpatient offices.

The big picture: Routine checkups, eye tests and teeth cleanings don't take precedence in a pandemic. But even as states reopen businesses and more clinics attempt to reschedule appointments, patients likely won't come back quickly.

Between the lines: More patients have used telehealth services to consult with doctors about basic medical questions or follow-ups that don't need to be done in person. That's helped offset some of the lost revenue from canceling non-urgent visits.

  • But telehealth has its limits. People can't get cavities filled or carpal tunnel surgery virtually.
  • Consequently, with those services halted and revenue drying up, the technicians, billing clerks and medical assistants who work in outpatient settings — many of whom are not highly paid — have felt the brunt of the job loss. Many doctors also have had to cut their own pay.

What's next: Patient visits are not expected to return to pre-coronavirus levels anytime soon — so don't expect all of these jobs to return anytime soon either.

  • "Of all the places people want to come back to quickly, a health care setting is probably not at the top of the list," said Ani Turner, a health economist at Altarum.
  • Patients who have lost their insurance or who are worried about catching coronavirus un a waiting room will likely stay away even from outpatient facilities.
  • Research also suggests people cut back on health care during recessions, even if they still have employer coverage.

Go deeper: The health care workers who are losing their jobs

Go deeper

Aug 19, 2020 - Health

People of color struggle to afford health care

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

People of color disproportionately lack stable health insurance and have more trouble affording health care than white Americans, a new survey from the Commonwealth Fund shows.

Why it matters: This is one of the long-standing inequalities the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated.

Aug 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus forces rethinking of safety net for working women

Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Photo: "Axios on HBO"

The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for working women, but one prominent women's policy expert says it could provide a new opportunity to create the kinds of social supports they should have had all along.

Driving the news: In an interview with "Axios on HBO," Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, said the pandemic has created a "she-cession" — a loss of jobs that has disproportionately affected women and highlighted the gaps in the safety net for working families.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."