Η οικονομική κρίση και οι επιπτώσεις της στα συστήματα υγειονομικής περίθαλψης στην Ευρώπη
The economic crisis and the impact on healthcare systems in Europe
KeywordsΣύστημα υγειονομικής περίθαλψης ; Οικονομική κρίση ; «Από την τσέπη» έξοδα ; Κοινωνική ασφάλιση ; Ασφάλεια υγείας ; Ιδιωτική ασφάλιση ; Healthcare system ; Economic crisis ; Out of pocket expenses ; Social security ; Health insurance ; Private insurance
The global financial crisis that broke out in 2007 had many social and political implications in most European countries. The aim of this paper is to study the impact of the austerity measures implemented by the economic and financial collapse on one of the most vulnerable and important systems in each country: the healthcare system. Panel data analysis is used to highlight the impact of the economic crisis on each of the 39 European countries analyzed, during the period 2003-2014, i.e. before, during and after the crisis. The advantage of this method lies in the ability to offer both cross-time and cross-section effects as well as their interactions. The findings show an inconsistent tendency for European governments, to reduce spending on health care during the crisis, resulting in some countries, which did not have a strong policy on health insurance, the raise of spending on the out of pocket payments. In other countries the number of people who have access to healthcare services has declined. Another notable result is that there is a constant lag between the economic crisis and the impact on health care, but when the shock is perceived it is likely to have an effect for some time even after the recovery of the economy. Some side effects can still become permanent, as happens when hospitals close or the staff is dismissed. The findings of this paper suggest that in times of economic crisis, the right approach is to keep spending on health care, because otherwise people are exposed to even greater risks such as catastrophic spending, sickness or even death.