Post-Communist Economies published an article of relevance to the Covid-19 pandemic by Chris Davis, Senior Research Fellow of REES

This week the journal Post-Communist Economies published an article of relevance to the Covid-19 pandemic by Chris Davis, Senior Research Fellow of REES and Professorial Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing (OIPA).

The article is entitled: Priorities, Shortages, and Rationing in the UK and Russia National Health Services during 2000–2019: Initial Conditions for Responses to Covid-19

It is available on Open Access here.



Throughout the world in 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic caused wide-spread infections, realignments of medical priorities, pervasive shortages and rationing of medical care, increases in the hidden components of morbidity icebergs, and substantial mortality. It also caused two types of international disequilibrium: ‘excess supply’ in the macroeconomic sphere generated by lockdowns and ‘excess demand (shortage)’ in critical product markets (e.g., personal protective equipment). Although the simultaneous and global nature of these phenomena and problems in 2020 were unusual, many of them have been evident in national medical systems over the past decade. The key questions addressed in this article are: (1) What are the relationships between economic systems, government priorities, shortages in health services, and compensatory policies? and (2) How did resource constraints, priority shifts, shortages, bottlenecks in production, and rationing during 2000–2019 influence the initial conditions of medical systems in the UK and Russia in 2020 when confronting Covid-19 epidemics?

KEYWORDS: Priorities, shortages, rationing, health expenditures, morbidity Icebergs, Covid-19


Research for this article was supported by health economics projects in Moscow at the Russian Presidential Academy of the National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) and the Higher School of Economics, as well as by OIPA and REES in Oxford.

Chris has completed a companion article that is fully focussed on the Covid-19 period: Readiness and Resilience of the Health Systems of the UK and Russia During Covid-19 Epidemics in 2020: Impacts of Priorities, Shortages and Rationing. It should be published in October.