The evidence available on the impact of previous crises on health reveals different patterns attributable to study designs, the characteristics of each crisis, and other factors related to the socioeconomic and political context. There is greater consensus on the mediating role of government policy responses to financial crises. These responses may magnify or mitigate the adverse effects of crises on population health. Some studies have shown a significant deterioration in some health indicators in the context of the current crisis, mainly in relation to mental health and communicable diseases. Alcohol and tobacco use have also declined in some European countries. In addition, this crisis is being used by some governments to push reforms aimed at privatizing health services, thereby restricting the right to health and healthcare. Specifically, action is being taken on the three axes that determine health system financing: the population covered, the scope of services, and the share of the costs covered. These measures are often arbitrarily implemented based on ideological decisions rather than on the available evidence and therefore adverse consequences are to be expected in terms of financial protection, efficiency, and equity.
Keywords: Cobertura universal; Economic recession; Estado de salud; Estilo de vida; Gastos en salud; Health behavior; Health expenditures; Health policy; Health services; Health status; Morbidity; Morbilidad; Mortalidad; Mortality; Política de salud; Recesión económica; Servicios de salud; Universal coverage.
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