Toward Universal Health Coverage and Equity in Latin America and the Caribbean: Evidence from Selected Countries

Dmytraczenko, Tania, and Almeida, Gisele, eds.

License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0 IGO


Over the past three decades, many countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have recognized health as a human right and acted on that recognition. Several have amended their constitutions to guarantee their citizens the right to health. Most have ratified international conventions that define the progressive and equitable implementation of the right to health as an obligation of the state. Grounded in the expanded legal framework regulating these new rights, demands have grown steadily for health systems to become more responsive in delivering affordable care that meets the needs of the population. Accordingly, countries have implemented policies and programs aimed at achieving universal health coverage (UHC)—that is, ensuring that all people can obtain the services they need without suffering financial hardship […]

After nearly a quarter-century of experience with reforms to advance UHC in LAC,3 it is a good time to take stock of progress made in improving population health and access to health services. This is particularly timely in light of global momentum toward UHC—recently accelerated by the publication of the World Health Report Health Systems Financing: The Path to Universal Coverage (WHO 2010). The adoption in 2011 of the World Health Assembly resolution WHA 64.9 urging countries to aim for affordable universal coverage is further evidence of progress. In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly encouraged member states to pursue the transition to universal coverage, recommending that UHC be considered for inclusion in the post-2015 development agenda. In 2014, the members of the Pan  American Health Organization (PAHO) unanimously approved a resolution to implement the Strategy for Universal Access to Health and UHC, A/67/L.36 (PAHO 2014). The World Bank has also embraced UHC as integral to its mission to eliminate absolute poverty by 2030 and to boost shared prosperity.

KeywordsPalabras clave:

Equity in Health; Universal Health Coverage; Health Systems; Human Development; Public Health Policies; Latin America and the Caribbean Region

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2 thoughts on “Toward Universal Health Coverage and Equity in Latin America and the Caribbean: Evidence from Selected Countries

    1. Editor Equity/Equidad Post author

      Dear Walter,

      Thank you for your post. The PAHO/WHO Equity list & Knowledge Network received the request to circulate information among public health information of international significance with contents related to the priority issues on Health and Human Development. For additional information we’d recommend you to subscribe PAHO/WHO Equity LIST

      Thank you very much, the Editor.


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