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AS/COA Launches Report on the Urgency to Address Inequalities in Latin America's Health Systems

AS/COA Future of Health Systems in Latin America

July 22, 2020

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July 22, 2020 — The Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA) Healthcare Series presents Innovative and Sustainable: The Future of Health Systems in Latin America, a report that highlights key challenges and growing opportunities in healthcare to ensure the alignment of private-sector initiatives with public-sector goals in Latin America. Read the full report.

“As Latin America is one of the global hotspots of COVID-19, underlying inequalities and inefficiencies in health systems have made countries more vulnerable to the economic and health impacts,” says AS/COA Vice President Eric Farnsworth. “This timely report captures the key recommendations from public- and private-sector leaders from across the hemisphere on what’s needed to improve the future of health systems in the region.”

Since 2018, the AS/COA Healthcare Series has built a space for healthcare experts, government leaders, industry representatives, and academics to provide solutions to challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean’s health systems. “This report calls on regional leaders to collaborate for more sustainable and equitable health systems,” says Zoe Dauth, senior manager at AS/COA and coordinator of the Healthcare Series. “The hemisphere urgently needs efficient investment into health and a greater prioritization of public-private cooperation to overcome this pandemic and be better prepared for future health crises.”

The paper concludes that Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries need more efficient resource allocation and policy interventions to promote health and disease prevention. The region faces an upward struggle to protect the most vulnerable due to an increase in poverty and widening gap in income inequality. The report states that, “Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Latin America’s health systems suffered from inefficient allocation of investments, and now that LAC has become a global hotspot for the virus, government officials and policy makers throughout the region must act urgently to prioritize investment in healthcare as a national and regional priority” to “protect against future threats.”

According to the report, governments should consider preventive healthcare and make efforts to increase budget allocation for healthcare. Additionally, healthcare providers should offer value and outcomes-based business models and utilize online platforms to maintain quality. Some key recommendations for health system stakeholders include improving collaboration between regional health and finance ministers, transitioning to a patient-centered care model, strengthening the regulatory capacity for government and industry to collaborate through public-private partnerships, and investing in the development of health specialists and telemedicine. 

Read the full report.

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