The Future of Health Care in Latin America
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Health systems across Latin America were ill-prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic. The regional average for public healthcare expenditure is just 3.7 percent of GDP, far below the 6 percent recommended by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The availability of doctors and hospital beds is half the level of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. Meanwhile, despite universal healthcare access, Latin American households pay one-third of healthcare costs out-of-pocket, a heavy burden in a region with high levels of poverty. The pandemic brought these and other deficiencies into sharp relief, as overwhelmed health systems from Manaus to Mexico City found themselves short on supplies and personnel, compromising care not only for COVID-19 patients.
Though the pandemic also battered Latin America’s economies, there is no time to spare in investing more generously and strategically in public health, including in new healthcare technologies that could improve efficiency and accessibility. Otherwise, the region will remain unprepared for the next health crisis.
Please join us on Friday, February 26, 2021 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. for a conversation about the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and reforms that could strengthen and modernize Latin America’s public health sector.
This event will be webcast in Spanish
Latin American Program
The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action. Read more
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