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Unmet Health Care Need and Income-Related Horizontal Equity in Access during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Apostolos Davillas () and Andrew Jones ()

No 13910, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Using monthly data from the Understanding Society (UKHLS) COVID-19 Survey we analyse the evolution of unmet need and assess how the UK health care system performed against the norm of horizontal equity in health care access during the first wave of COVID-19 wave. Unmet need was most evident for hospital care, and less pronounced for primary health services (medical helplines, GP consultations, local pharmacist advice, over the counter medications and prescriptions). Despite this, there is no evidence that horizontal equity, with respect to income, was violated for NHS hospital outpatient and inpatient care during the first wave of the pandemic. There is evidence of pro-rich inequities in access to GP consultations, prescriptions and medical helplines at the peak of the first wave, but these were eliminated as the pandemic progressed. There are persistent pro-rich inequities for services that relate to individuals' ability to pay (over the counter medications and advice from the local pharmacist).

Keywords: health care; unmet need; COVID-19; inequity; UKHLS (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C1 D63 I14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 14 pages
Date: 2020-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur and nep-hea
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Published - revised version published in: Health Economics, 2021, 30 (7), 1711 - 1716

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Related works:
Working Paper: Unmet health care need and income-related horizontal equity in access during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Unmet health care need and income-related horizontal equity in access during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Unmet health care need and income-related horizontal equity in access during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020) Downloads
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