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Quantifying Excess Mortality Among Non COVID-19 Patients in Healthcare Settings


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Fetzer, T. 
Rauh, C. 


COVID-19 drastically increased demand- and supply pressures faced by healthcare systems. Increased pressures may have negative spillovers into non COVID-19 care which can cause preventable excess deaths among patients seeking medical help for reasons unrelated to COVID-19. This paper finds substantial and robust evidence of such non COVID-19 excess deaths among hospital patients leveraging data from an integrated public healthcare system: the NHS in England. We find that there is at least one additional preventable death among hospital patients seeking medical help for reasons unrelated to COVID-19 for every 30 deaths that can be linked to COVID-19. In aggregate, there were 4,003 such excess deaths during the first twelve months of the pandemic. At the healthcare provider level, the increase in non COVID-19 excess deaths is sharply increasing in COVID-19 induced pressures on hospitals.



COVID-19, externalities, excess mortality, public health, pandemic, congestion effects

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Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge

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