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Assessing Latin America's Progress Toward Achieving Universal Health Coverage

Wagstaff, Aadam and Dmytraczenko, Tania and Almeida, Gisele and Buisman, Leander and Hoang-Vu Eozenou, Patrick and Bredenkamp, Caryn and Cercone, James A and Diaz, Yadira and Maceira, Daniel and Molina, Silvia and Paraje, Guillermo and Ruiz, Fernando and Sarti, Flavia and Scott, John and Valdivia, Martin and Werneck, Heitor (2015) 'Assessing Latin America's Progress Toward Achieving Universal Health Coverage.' Health Affairs, 34 (10). pp. 1704-1712. ISSN 0278-2715

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Abstract

Two commonly used metrics for assessing progress toward universal health coverage involve assessing citizens’ rights to health care and counting the number of people who are in a financial protection scheme that safeguards them from high health care payments. On these metrics most countries in Latin America have already “reached” universal health coverage. Neither metric indicates, however, whether a country has achieved universal health coverage in the now commonly accepted sense of the term: that everyone—irrespective of their ability to pay—gets the health services they need without suffering undue financial hardship. We operationalized a framework proposed by the World Bank and the World Health Organization to monitor progress under this definition and then constructed an overall index of universal health coverage achievement. We applied the approach using data from 112 household surveys from 1990 to 2013 for all twenty Latin American countries. No country has achieved a perfect universal health coverage score, but some countries (including those with more integrated health systems) fare better than others. All countries except one improved in overall universal health coverage over the time period analyzed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Access To Care; Disparities; Financing Health Care; Health Economics; Developing World; International/global health studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2016 13:03
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2016 13:03
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/15873

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