Health at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2020

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Health at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2020 presents key indicators on health and health systems in 33 Latin America and the Caribbean countries. This first Health at a Glance publication to cover the Latin America and the Caribbean region was prepared jointly by OECD and the World Bank. Analysis is based on the latest comparable data across almost 100 indicators including equity, health status, determinants of health, health care resources and utilisation, health expenditure and financing, and quality of care. The editorial discusses the main challenges for the region brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as managing the outbreak as well as mobilising adequate resources and using them efficiently to ensure an effective response to the epidemic. An initial chapter summarises the comparative performance of countries before the crisis, followed by a special chapter about addressing wasteful health spending that is either ineffective or does not lead to improvement in health outcomes so that to direct saved resources where they are urgently needed.

English Also available in: Spanish

Financial protection

As reported in the previous section on private and external expenditure, high levels of out-of-pocket (OOP) spending in the region present a challenge not only for governments looking to improve access but also to individuals, household and communities. High OOP means that the population is directly financing a substantial part of care when they need it, which in turn can push them into poverty or financial hardship. The global incidence of catastrophic spending at 10% or more of OOP relative to household income or consumption has been estimated at 9.7% in 2000, 11.4% in 2005, and 11.7% in 2010. This means that globally 808 million people in 2010 incurred catastrophic health spending (Flores et al., 2018[2]). In addition, high OOP can have very negative consequences for the financial and social wellbeing of households, in some cases leading them into poverty. It has been estimated that at the USD 1.90 per day poverty line, the worldwide incidence of impoverishment decreased between 2000 and 2010, from 131 million people (2.1% of the world’s population) to 97 million people (1.4%) (Wagstaff et al., 2018[3]).

English Also available in: Spanish


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