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

12 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2020

See all articles by Apostolos Davillas

Apostolos Davillas

University of East Anglia (UEA)

Andrew M. Jones

University of York - Department of Economics and Related Studies; Monash University - Centre for Health Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 29, 2020

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: inequity, COVID-19, unmet need, health care, UKHLS

JEL Classification: C1, D63, I14

Suggested Citation

Davillas, Apostolos and Jones, Andrew M., Unmet Health Care Need and Income-Related Horizontal Equity in Access During the COVID-19 Pandemic (November 29, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3739466 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3739466

Apostolos Davillas (Contact Author)

University of East Anglia (UEA) ( email )

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

Andrew M. Jones

University of York - Department of Economics and Related Studies ( email )

Heslington
York, YO1 5DD
United Kingdom
+44-1904-43 3766 (Phone)

Monash University - Centre for Health Economics ( email )

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Monash University
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

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