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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064

Abstract

IDROVO, Alvaro J.. Heath and political regimes: presidential or parliamentary government for Colombia?. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2007, vol.9, n.2, pp. 205-214. ISSN 0124-0064.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642007000200005.

Objective Changing the presidential regime for a parliamentarian one is currently be-ing discussed in Colombia. This preliminary study explores the potential effects on health of both presidential and parliamentary regimes by using world-wide data. Material and methods An ecological study was undertaken using countries from which comparable information concerning life-expectancy at birth, political regime, economic development, inequality in income, social capital (as measured by general-ised trust or Corruption Perceptions Index), political rights, civil freedom and cultural diversity could be obtained. Life-expectancy at birth and macro-determinants were compared between both political regimes. The co-relationship between these macro-determinants was estimated and the relationship between political regimen and life-expectancy at birth was estimated using robust regression. Results Crude analysis revealed that parliamentary countries have greater life-expectancy at birth than countries having a presidential regime. Significant co-relationships between all macro-determinants were observed. No differential effects were observed between both political regimes regarding life-expectancy at birth in multiple robust regressions. Discussion There is no evidence that presidential or parliamentary regimes provide greater levels of health for the population. It is suggested that public health policies be focused on other macro-determinants having more known effects on health, such as income inequality.

Keywords : Politics; public policy; Colombia.

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