chapter  8
28 Pages

Caring for people: health care and education provision

ByJoseph L. Scarpaci, Ignacio Irarrdzaval

Caring for Latin Americans in the 1990s reflects the interplay of myriad practices, institutions, and cultural legacies. The caring sector - limited in this chapter to health care services and education - plays a key role in enhancing well-being. The task, .though, is daunting. In 1989 some 44 per cent of the Latin American and Caribbean population (183 million people) were classified as poor. Health care delivery is spotty and few countries guarantee comprehensive care for the entire population. An estimated 130 million Latin American poor have no access to health care. Getting into the modem biomedical system depends on a complex. array of gatekeepers - financial and political - and the quality of care is highly variable. When governments allot funds for health resources, as much as 30 per cent of them are wasted. Patterns of health care break down .along geographic, government, ethnic, religious and labour lines throughout most of the region.