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Crisis, Austerity and Health Inequalities in Southern European Countries – until January 20, 2019

Editors: Pedro Hespanha and Mauro Serapioni

Deadline for submission: 20 January 2019

Keywords: health, crisis, austerity, inequalities, Southern Europe

Several studies have dealt with the negative impact of the financial crisis that began in 2008 and the austerity policies put in place to fight it in various regions and countries in Europe, particularly in the southern countries. However, the impact of the crisis and its regressive policies on national health services (NHS), citizen well-being, especially among the most vulnerable groups, and also on health inequalities have not yet been sufficiently explored.

  • 1 OECD (2013), Crisis Squeezes Income and Puts Pressure on Inequality and Poverty: Results from the O (...)

Cuts in the financing of the NHS along with privatization programs covering both hospitals and health centers are causing a progressive deterioration in the quality of services and health care waiting lists, as well as the increase of fees and co-payment of health services and medical drugs. According to a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 2013),1 increased inequalities have been particularly evident in countries where deep budget cuts were implemented, such as Spain, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, and Cyprus. The negative consequences of the crisis have mainly focused on people who have lost their jobs and on the most vulnerable groups of the population. Some studies have shown that higher rates of unemployment and precarious employment, as well as lower per capita health expenditure, negatively affect people’s mental health. The decline in the access to health care was especially evident in Greece and, to a lesser extent, in Spain, Italy, and Portugal. At the same time, the inability of many people to access private health insurance and health plans has increased inequalities in health care. In this sense, social gradient (in particular, levels of education, income, and job stability) is the main determinant of health inequality in all the countries in Southern Europe.

This thematic issue of e-cadernos CES aims to gather contributions from scholars and researchers who have dealt with the relationship between crisis, austerity policies and NHS reforms in the Southern European countries on the one hand, and increase of health inequalities on the other.

e-cadernos CES is a peer-reviewed, online and entirely open access journal, published by the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra (Portugal). The journal is currently indexed in CAPES, DOAJ, EBSCO, ERIH Plus and Latindex. For more information about this publication see

Texts should be presented in final version, in Portuguese, English, Spanish, or French. Manuscripts must be originals and not exceed 60,000 characters (with spaces), including notes and references. For the final section @cetera, other manuscripts may be submitted (up to 35,000 characters), such as interviews and discussions (up to 25,000 characters) or book reviews (up to 5,000 characters).

Detailed guidelines for submitting texts are available at Manuscripts should be sent by email to and authors should clearly identify the thematic issue in question – “Crisis, Austerity and Health Inequalities in Southern European Countries”.

All manuscripts will go through a blind peer review process.


1 OECD (2013), Crisis Squeezes Income and Puts Pressure on Inequality and Poverty: Results from the OECD Income Distribution Database. Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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