Has Latin America achieved universal health coverage yet? Lessons from four countries

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Has Latin America achieved universal health coverage yet? Lessons from four countries


JournalArchives of Public Health
Article typeJournal research article – Clinical research
Publication date – Jan – 2022
Authors – Ramiro E. Gilardino, Pilar Valanzasca, Susan B. Rifkin
Keywordshealth systems, healthcare access., Healthcare financing, Latin America, Primary healthcare, Universal health coverage
Open access – Yes
SpecialityHealth policy
World region Central America, South America
Country: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico
Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on February 1, 2022 at 11:39 pm
Abstract:

Background
Seven years after the commitment to United Nations’ call for Universal Health Coverage, healthcare services in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico are generally accessible and affordable; but they still struggle to meet population health demands and address the rising health care costs. We aim to describe measures taken by these four countries to commit by Universal Health Coverage, addressing their barriers and challenges.

Methods
Scoping literature review, supplemented with targeted stakeholders survey.

Results
The four countries analysed achieved an overall index of essential coverage of 76–77%, and households out of pocket health expenditures fall below 25%. Services coverage was improved by expanding access to primary healthcare systems and coverage for non-communicable diseases, while provided community outreach by the increase in the number of skilled healthcare workers. New pharmaceutical support programs provided access to treatments for chronic conditions at zero cost, while high-costs drugs and cancer treatments were partially guaranteed. However, the countries lack with effective financial protection mechanisms, that continue to increase out of pocket expenditure as noted by lowest financial protection scores, and lack of effective financial mechanisms besides cash transfers.

Conclusions
Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico have made progress towards UHC. Although, better financial protection is urgently required.

OSI Number – 21472
PMID – gilardinoramiro@gmail.com

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