How to minimize negative health effects in the European Union due to the Economic recession caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:austerity, COVID-19, economic measures, financial crisis, health, pandemic
Aims: The article aims to analyze what can be learned from the last Financial Crisis from 2008 on to minimize the negative health effects in the European Union due to the Economic recession caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Methods: Systematic literature reviews were conducted to analyze the interventions taken to combat the last Financial Crisis and their consequences on health. Parallel to this, a qualitative document analysis of the ongoing discussion about the measures taken or to be taken in the Covid-19 Pandemic to fight the current economic recession was conducted using institutional websites and international media.
Results: The main methods taken to combat the Financial Crisis from 2008 were, bailing out banks, austerity measures, and the European Stability Mechanism. There is evidence that the Financial crisis had negative effects on the European Health Systems in general. Austerity measures in some countries, led to an increase in psychological disorders. Overall mortality was not affected but the decrease of avoidable mortality slowed down. Various economic interventions such as bailing out essential industries e.g., the Aviation sector, cash injections, tax relief, short-work salary compensation, modified ESM, and the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP) were taken during the Covid-19 Pandemic to help stabilize the economy.
Conclusion: The current recession is not caused by internal failures of the financial system as it was in the financial Crisis of 2008, but by an outside event - the Covid-19 pandemic. Measures were taken by the governments and the European Union to avoid an economic crisis, and by these, the negative health effects were created during the Financial Crisis in 2008, but the lockdown phase seems to lead to similar negative health effects regarding psychological disorders and delay of planned screening and treatment.
Conflict of interest: None declared.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Adhitya Satyamoorthy, Helmut Brand, Robin van Kessel
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