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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634


SAENZ, María del Rocío; ACOSTA, Mónica; MUISER, Jorine  and  BERMUDEZ, Juan Luis. The health system of Costa Rica. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2011, vol.53, suppl.2, pp.s156-s167. ISSN 0036-3634.

This paper describes the Costa Rican health system which provides health, water and sanitation services. The health component of the system includes a public and a private sector. The public sector is dominated by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), an autonomous institution in charge of financing, purchasing and delivering most of the personal health services in Costa Rica. CCSS is financed with contributions of the affiliates, employers and the state, and manages three regimes: maternity and illness insurance, disability, old age and death insurance, and a non-contributive regime. CCSS provides services in its own facilities but also contracts with private providers. The private sector includes a broad set of services offering ambulatory and hospital care. These services are financed mostly out-of-pocket, but also with private insurance premiums. The Ministry of Health is the steward of the system, in charge of strategic planning, sanitary regulation, and research and technology development. Among the recent policy innovations we can mention the establishment of the basic teams for comprehensive health care (EBAIS), the de-concentration of hospitals and public clinics, the introduction of management agreements and the creation of the Health Boards.

Keywords : health system; social security; Costa Rica.

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