Lessons Learnt: Special Issue report filters global best practices on COVID-19 response

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

A panel of experts have ‘filtered’ the most compelling policy and technology responses to COVID-19 worldwide, as governments continue to grapple with the devastating impacts of the pandemic.

The ‘Special Issue on the COVID-19 pandemic: Global health policy and technology responses in the making’, released today by leading scientific publication platform Elsevier, appointed four global experts from the fields of Health Economics, Sociology and Policy, and Business Analytics - two of whom are based at the University of Newcastle - as a Guest Editorial Board to analyse the impact of COVID-19 policy and technology responses across more than 25 countries.

In his role as lead editor and contributing author, Professor Francesco Paolucci said while the pandemic impacted every country differently, there were a number of collective lessons that could provide valuable insights into the past, present, and future decision-making processes undertaken by governments.

“Countries that have had lower cases appear to have had a clear objective to their policy response. While it is clear that it is crucial to manage both the health response and the economic response, it is also possible to do both, one doesn’t have to come at the expense of the other,” said Professor Paolucci.

“Our research also found that it appears mortality rates depend on the capacity of the health care system and how governments redirected resources and/or amended legislation to protect the vulnerable.

“By examining a variety of pandemic responses, this Special Issue aims to filter the relevant information within and across countries to better inform research and policy decisions so that governments and decision makers can be better prepared to deal with upcoming waves of the current pandemic or completely new ones that may occur in the future.”

By surveying a vast range of countries, across different types of healthcare and political systems, the research teams were able to provide a comprehensive analysis of initial health policy and technology interventions used by each country to respond to the first wave of the global pandemic, from January to early August 2020.

Each of the country-specific papers discusses the impact of the diverse degrees of intervention stringency on the economy of each country. The further four thematic papers investigate the impact on mental health and the responses designed to minimise that impact, the advancement of technology within the court systems to ensure ongoing access to justice and an economic perspective of measuring the merit of virus testing technology.

The Special Issue comprises 22 papers written by 80 academics from across the world, representing more than 50 institutions including the University of Newcastle, the University of Bologna, Karolinska Institutet, The University of California Berkeley, Vrije Unerversiteit Amsterdam, Universidad Complutense Madrid and the University of Aberdeen.

It includes 17 country-specific papers covering 28 different countries, four papers investigating specific thematic areas and an editorial paper outlining the importance of this research in creating informed policy.

The Special Issue guest editorial board includes: Professor Francesco Paolucci and Dr Doowon Lee - both from the from the Newcastle Business School at the University of Newcastle, Dr Naomi Moy and Professor Jonathan Tritter.


Webinar to discuss the future of healthcare systems

The University of Newcastle will host a webinar, ‘Rethinking healthcare systems in times of COVID-19: lessons, challenges and opportunities’ on October 16 at 11am (AEDT).

Chaired by Professor Francesco Paolucci, a panel of experts and global leaders from industry and academia will provide insights and trace possible scenarios on the future of healthcare systems, and the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Among panellists is Former Minister of Health in Chile, Dr Emilio Santelices, register here.


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