Universal Healthcare on the rise in Latin America

People living longer, children celebrating more birthdays and fewer families falling into poverty due to illness, are just a few of the outstanding results from countries increasingly adopting universal healthcare coverage in recent years.   

And it would seem that Latin America and the Caribbean is leading the charge. Nine countries have been featured in a new set of 22 case studies analyzing significant gains made in healthcare access over the past decade.

From explicitly defined benefits packages to reforms of public health services provisions, there is not one single model for attaining universal health coverage. Indeed, in Latin America approaches varied from country to country, but the studies note that ensuring quality coverage reaches the region’s poorest and excluded populations has been a shared focus.

 “Whatever path countries choose, universal health coverage is key to prevent people from falling into poverty due to illness, and to give everyone the opportunity to live healthier, more productive lives - regardless of ability to pay,” explains Nicole Klingen, Acting Director for Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank.