Impact of Coronavirus Disease COVID-19 on the Relationship between Healthcare Expenditures and Sustainable Economic Growth

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Feb 9;20(4):3049. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20043049.


The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic led to a catastrophic burden on the healthcare system and increased expenditures for the supporting medical infrastructure. It also had dramatic socioeconomic consequences. The purpose of this study is to identify the empirical patterns of healthcare expenditures' influence on sustainable economic growth in the pandemic and pre-pandemic periods. Fulfilment of the research task involves the implementation of two empirical blocks: (1) development of a Sustainable Economic Growth Index based on public health, environmental, social, and economic indicators using principal component analysis, ranking, Fishburne approach, and additive convolution; (2) modelling the impact of different kinds of healthcare expenditures (current, capital, general government, private, out-of-pocket) on the index using panel data regression modelling (random-effects GLS regression). Regression results in the pre-pandemic period show that the growth of capital, government, and private healthcare expenditures positively influence sustainable economic growth. In 2020-2021, healthcare expenditures did not statistically significantly influence sustainable economic growth. Consequently, more stable conditions allowed capital healthcare expenditures to boost economic growth, while an excessive healthcare expenditure burden damaged economic stability during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the pre-pandemic period, public and private healthcare expenditures ensured sustainable economic growth; out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures dominantly contributed to the pandemic period.

Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus disease; healthcare expenditure; pandemic; sustainable development; sustainable economic growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Economic Development
  • Health Expenditures*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics

Grants and funding

This research was funded by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, grant number 0122U000778 (“Socioeconomic recovery after COVID-19: modeling the implications for macroeconomic stability, national security and local community resilience”) and grant number 0122U000781 (“The impact of COVID-19 on the transformation of the system of medical and social security of population: economic, financial-budgetary, institutional-political determinants”).