Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
On-line version ISSN 1680-5348
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
BARILLAS, Edgar. The fragmentation of national health systems. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1997, vol.1, n.3, pp.246-249. ISSN 1680-5348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891997000300021.
The nationalistic tendencies observed in the world today, rooted in ethnic and ancestral cultural values that do not necessarily coincide with the physical boundaries of countries, have an enormous influence on societal organization, the distribution of wealth, and the processes of decentralization being carried out by governments. At the same time, the economic liberalization policies which are in fashion accentuate social divisions and favor models of health care that are fragmented according to the economic means of the user. This document explores the consequences of these trends for equity in the health and medical insurance systems of Latin America, as well as the role of the State and the private sector in the provision of services.