Latin America Healthcare System Overview: A comparative analysis of fiscal space in healthcare

August 2019

Latin America Healthcare System Overview

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a goal for health systems where everyone can access healthcare services regardless of their ability to pay and while avoiding the incurrence of catastrophic costs. Many countries, including those in Latin America, are experiencing rising healthcare costs. In light of this, existing sources need to be used efficiently, and novel funding sources should be identified and leveraged. 

Governments can turn to the concept of fiscal space, which can help to create capacity in their (national) budgets to be used for specific purposes without compromising their financial stability and sustainability.

This study considers the potential for fiscal space in the Latin American region across selected study countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay). The study has three objectives:

  • to study the need to broaden the fiscal space in healthcare financing in the study countries; 
  • to identify existing and potential taxes to support the enhancement of fiscal space without endangering fiscal sustainability;
  • to provide benchmark conclusions that could support country-specific public policies, whether there is potential to increase the fiscal space, and how potential additional resources could be used. 

Workshop - The World Bank, Washington D.C. 

On Friday 6 March 2020, The World Bank hosted a workshop on the report "Latin America Healthcare System Overview: A comparative analysis of fiscal space in healthcare" in Washington D.C. This was a well-attended event, with participation from high-level officials from Latin American countries and international organisations.

Event downloads:

>   Workshop Summary
>   Powerpoint - Panos Kanavos
>   Powerpoint - Eduardo González Pier
>   Powerpoint - Jaime Espín
>   Workshop Agenda