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Primary Health Care for Resilient Health Systems in Latin America

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Latin American countries were hard hit by COVID-19 with rates of excess mortality above the OECD average. The pandemic brought additional stress to health systems already overstretched by a growing burden of chronic diseases, unequal access to health care services, overall under-investment in health and strong budgetary restrictions, and systemic inefficiencies. Doubling down on primary health care will be a cost-effective strategy to increase preparedness for future pandemics and address the structural challenges in the region. The report examines the experience of seven countries in Latin America – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru – considering primary health care policies and actions taken to absorb the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and recover from it. The findings and recommendations of this report provide guidance to public authorities in the region in their efforts to better prepare and increase the resilience of health systems through stronger primary health care.

English

Executive summary

Latin American countries were hard-hit by COVID‑19, as shown by rates of excess mortality well above the OECD average. The pandemic has revealed weaknesses in health systems and brought additional stress to health systems in countries that already experienced important structural challenges. Doubling down on primary health care will help strengthen health systems, both to increase preparedness to future pandemics and to address the structural challenges in the region.

English

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