Healthcare sector in European countries: Assessment of economic capacity under the COVID-19 pandemic


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The year 2020 showed certain unpreparedness of the world’s countries for the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the unpopular measures of closed borders and total quarantine. The leading social component that opposes a pandemic is the healthcare system. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to assess the ability of European countries to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cluster modeling was performed using the STATISTICA 7.0 package. As a result of modeling, the studied countries were divided into 4 clusters. The first cluster included nine countries. According to the smallest distance, the core countries in this cluster are Ireland and Bulgaria. The second cluster included seven European countries. The core country in this cluster is Sweden. Five of the studied countries were part of the third cluster. The core country in this cluster is Estonia. The fourth cluster included economically developed European countries with a Scandinavian social economy model and countries with a transitive social economy model. The core country in the fourth cluster is Germany. The recommendations for European countries can be introducing educational activities at the state level among the population on the importance of vaccination against COVID-19, increasing the staffing of the healthcare system, conducting the audit on the effectiveness of using public funds, and developing the medical infrastructure.

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    • Figure 1. Plot of linkage distances
    • Figure 2. Dendrogram of the grouping of European countries by social indicators of healthcare system development
    • Figure 3. Plot of means for clusters 1-4
    • Figure 4. Share of people fully vaccinated against COVID-2019, January 2022
    • Table 1. Social indicators of the healthcare system in some European countries
    • Table 2. Means and standard deviations of cluster analysis
    • Table 3. Euclidean distances between clusters distances below diagonal squared distances above diagonal
    • Table 4. Countries and clusters
    • Conceptualization
      Anastasiia Simakhova
    • Data curation
      Anastasiia Simakhova, Oleksandr Dluhopolskyi, Vira Butenko
    • Resources
      Anastasiia Simakhova, Vira Butenko, Volodymyr Saienko
    • Supervision
      Anastasiia Simakhova
    • Writing – original draft
      Anastasiia Simakhova, Oleksandr Dluhopolskyi
    • Project administration
      Oleksandr Dluhopolskyi, Serhii Kozlovskyi
    • Validation
      Oleksandr Dluhopolskyi, Serhii Kozlovskyi, Volodymyr Saienko
    • Writing – review & editing
      Oleksandr Dluhopolskyi
    • Formal Analysis
      Serhii Kozlovskyi, Volodymyr Saienko
    • Funding acquisition
      Serhii Kozlovskyi
    • Software
      Serhii Kozlovskyi, Volodymyr Saienko
    • Investigation
      Vira Butenko
    • Visualization
      Vira Butenko