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Special Issue "Healthcare Systems Resilience and Its Spatial Characterization"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2023 | Viewed by 186

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Giacomo Pignataro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania, 95124 Catania, Italy
Interests: hospitals; performance; efficiency; spatial heterogeneity; procurement
Dr. Francesco Vidoli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics, Society, Politics University of Urbino, 61029 Urbino, Italy
Interests: spatial heterogeneity; spatial regimes; spatial disaggregation methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

We are organizing a special issue on healthcare systems resilience and its spatial characterization in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Healthcare systems have recently experienced a global shock, like the Covid-19 pandemic, which represents a serious challenge to their functioning and, consequently, to their performance. What is more, there is a recent history of other relevant shocks (Ebola, Sars, financial crisis, climate change, etc.), which directly or indirectly have had a relevant impact on the performance of healthcare systems, even if not at a global scale as in the case of the Covid-19 pandemic. The capacity of a system to generate a prompt and effective response to shocks, such to avoid or to attenuate their wide negative consequences, can be regarded as another dimension of the performance of healthcare systems, relevant for policy analysis and design, which, however, is not well assessed yet. Much like other research fields, the notion of resilience is called upon, even if it needs to be properly and accurately developed yet, taking account of the peculiarities of healthcare. In fact, while there has been an effort in academic research but also in the practice of international organizations, to conceptualize the resilience of healthcare systems, it has not been matched by a parallel work on its implementation in empirical and theoretical works. Moreover, it needs to be noted that threats and shocks affecting the healthcare systems generally have a spatial characterization, with place-specific consequences, and, therefore, the spatial dimension of resilience is a relevant issue in the assessment of the healthcare systems’ performance.

This special issue aims at including papers that present theoretical and empirical investigations of the several issues related to the resilience of healthcare and healthcare systems, possibly considering a spatial approach. The scope of this special issue includes, but it is not limited to, the following topics:

  • A discussion of the conceptualization of resilience in healthcare, as well as of spatial resilience.
  • Identification of potential metrics for the assessment of the resilience of healthcare systems, consistent with accepted and established concepts of resilience and based on observed/observable data
  • Measurement of resilience of healthcare systems at different scales and/or taking into account spatial relations
  • Empirical analysis of determinants of resilience, with special emphasis on their spatial characterization
  • Spatial spillovers and spatial clustering in resilience performance across healthcare providers
  • Relationships between resilience and other performance dimensions of healthcare providers
  • Institutional characteristics and resilience of healthcare systems
  • Theoretical and/or empirical analysis of providers’ behavior in response to negative shocks (implying, for instance, excess demand), with a focus on the spatial dimension of their effects
  • Financial implications of exogenous shock on the performance of healthcare systems and theoretical/empirical analysis of the characteristics of the financing mechanisms of healthcare providers, which mostly increase their resilience
  • Lessons learned from the current responses to COVID-19 pandemic, and their implications for the resilience of healthcare systems
  • Spatial heterogeneity in the shock response and its determinants
  • Heterogeneous behavior of local public decision makers
  • Spatial non-stationarity in functional relationships: methods and application cases. 

Prof. Dr. Giacomo Pignataro
Dr. Francesco Vidoli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • resilience
  • spatial resilience
  • spatial heterogeneity and non-stationarity
  • composite indicators
  • exogenous shocks
  • performance
  • healthcare systems

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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