Global Snapshots - Chile: problems with dictatorship now resolving
- By: Sarah Bailey
A glance over the history of the Chilean health system shows an unusual picture. Chile is one of few countries to successfully implement major reforms in their health sector. This middle income democratic country is now showing good health indicators, and the recent changes in its health sector are thought to be a possible model for other Latin American countries. The picture has not always been so positive, and not only for the health system, because of the Pinochet dictatorial regime.
Before the 1980s, democratic Chile boasted impressive standards of health care, with relatively equal access and equitable funding throughout the country.1 Since the 1950s, the single large public system of healthcare providers dominated, financed by government revenues through planned budgets and rigid salary scales.1 State reform to a military government, with the arrival of Pinochet's dictatorship, saw decreasing funding to the health sector, resulting in deteriorating standards of care.