Santiago,11 August 2022(TDI): Chile collaborates with Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) to build health reforms. The dialogue was held to prepare the roadmap during the international seminar organized by ECLAC in collaboration with the Chilean Ministry of Health, the Chilean National Health Fund (FONASA), and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The Seminar was organized within the framework of the technical help that ECLAC is providing to the Chilean Government regarding health system reforms.

Jointly with the Director of PAHO, Carissa F. Etienne, and the Minister of Health of Chile, Mara Begoa Yarza, Mario Cimoli, the Acting Executive Secretary of ECLAC, attended the seminar.

Remarks of ECLAC’s Secretary

Mario Cimoli, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), thanked the Chilean Ministry of Health for its confidence in ECLAC. He also emphasized the importance of having universal access to health systems for the region to move forward with equitable development.

He stressed that High productivity, global competitiveness, and social inclusion could not be achieved if people cannot access high-quality healthcare.

Moreover, he highlighted the region’s ability to enforce the necessary reform, one of whose pillars should be strengthening primary health care. He added that it depends on the ability of States to raise sufficient funds to finance universal, comprehensive, sustainable, and resilient health systems.

Remarks of Chilean Health Minister

Mara Begoa Yarza, the minister of health for Chile, expressed gratitude to ECLAC and PAHO, as well as other UN organizations for their assistance in Chile’s reform efforts

The Minister said that We came to this house, ECLAC, to invite them to work with us on the biggest health crisis Chile has faced since the 1952 reform.

The Minister further  added that We received a warm welcome from this organization where development-related topics are discussed because “you can’t talk about development if you don’t talk about health.”

The Minister reaffirmed that access to healthcare in Chile depends on an individual’s financial situation. She added that one of the initial reform’s goals is to eliminate structural inequality and move toward a universal healthcare system.

Remarks of PAHO’s Director

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director, Carissa F. Etienne, emphasized that the data shows that the Americas region reports the largest number of cases of COVID-19 and the highest number of deaths. The Director stressed that it’s evidence that shows that our health systems were segregated and underfunded, and our public health infrastructure was not ready.

Carissa emphasized that the time has come to change our health system. The senior official stated that a transition must be driven by a thorough review of the performance of these systems during the pandemic. And it should be based on the idea that every person in this region has health privileges.

ECLAC and Health Systems in Chile

Moreover, according to ECLAC, social protection and health systems must be the focal points of strategies for sustainable growth.

It is important to consolidate a social pact centered on rights and equality to achieve this. Because equality is linked to a progressive fiscal pact that ensures the sustainability of the health system and advancement toward a welfare state.

The meeting’s main goals were to learn from the experiences of various regions and nations, including those with more developed health systems. The officials aimed to take key directions from nations that have recently enforced reforms.