Organisation of the State, model of health system and COVID-19 health outcomes in six European countries, during the first months of the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020

Jorge Simões, João Paulo Moreira Magalhães, André Biscaia, António da Luz Pereira, Gonçalo Figueiredo Augusto, Inês Fronteira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The time and type of the States' responses to the COVID-19 pandemic varied with the severity of the epidemiological situation, the perceived risk, the political organisation and the model of health system of the country. We discuss the response of Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom during the first months of the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, considering the political organisation of the country and its health system model. We analyse public health measures implemented to contain or mitigate the pandemic, as well as those related to governance, resources and reorganisation of services, financing mechanisms, response of the health system itself and health outcomes. To measure the burden of COVID-19, we use several indicators. The adoption of measures, to contain and mitigate epidemic varied in degree and time of adoption. All countries reorganised their governance structure and the provision of care, despite the differences in political models and health systems (ranging from a more unitary and centralised political organisational model—France and Portugal; to a decentralised matrix—Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom). Rather than the differences in political models and health systems, the explanation for the success in tackling the epidemic seems to lay in other social determinants of health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2507 - 2513
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal Of Health Planning And Management
Volume26
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Europe
  • health systems
  • political organisation
  • State

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