P53 The Early Lessons of COVID-19: The Need for a Broader Health-Economic Perspective


      The current COVID-19 pandemic caused ∼20,000 deaths and ∼50,000 hospital admissions in the Netherlands. Efforts to manage this communicable disease and its impact on the health-care system without prior development of specific vaccines have put a strain on the fiscal budget. This study aims to indicatively quantify the impact of COVID-19 on the Dutch government’s fiscal position, simultaneously indicating the value of preventive vaccines from a payer perspective.


      Dutch COVID-19 specific population data on laboratory-confirmed infections, hospital admissions and mortality, was collected from the domestic start of the COVID-19 pandemic on 27 February 2020 until the first administered vaccine on 6 January 2021. A fiscal health modelling approach was used to estimate the loss in tax revenues. Occurred productivity losses were added as an indicator for the future burden on the social security system. Tax revenue losses were caused by premature mortality, whereas the productivity losses occurred through mortality as well as morbidity. Outcomes were expressed in total monetary impact (€, 2020).


      The impact of the pandemic in the analysed time-period was estimated to amount to a total of €920.7 million. Tax loss due to premature mortality amounted to €58.8 million with 50% attributed to patients >60 years. Productivity loss due to morbidity summed up to €862 million with 46% due to patients 40-59 years.


      The fiscal impact of the current pandemic highlights the importance of a broader approach to health-economic analysis. A fiscal health framework, optimally linked to a disease simulation model, is a better instrument to inform decision-making in the context of communicable diseases. The reported fiscal estimates also highlight the benefit of investments in communicable disease prevention such as anticipative development of vaccines. In the decision-making process around pandemic preparedness measures, investment funding and real-options can consequently be informed by a fiscal health framework.