Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
CALDERON, Carlos Alberto Agudelo; BOTERO, Jaime Cardona; BOLANOS, Jesús Ortega and MARTINEZ, Rocio Robledo. The Colombian healthcare system: 20 years of achievements and problems. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.6, pp. 2817-2828. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232011000600020.
An overview of some of the key processes and results of Colombia's National Health System is presented. A systematic review of the literature evaluating the quality of the evidence published in indexed journals and literature not published in journals was made. Health system financial resources have seen a sustained increase while spending on health has remained at around 8% of GNP. Coverage, measured by affiliation to contributory and subsidized regimes, is in the order of 92% of the total population. The Mandatory Health Plan, defining the benefits to which one has access, has been broadly maintained but has been hampered by mechanisms for making legal complaints, thereby leading to financial deficits. The health system has contributed towards improving the poorest sector's income, but inequalities persist due to the lack of universal coverage, differences in health plans and the system's expenditure according to the population's income. Advances made in the National Health System have been positive but universality has not been achieved and this has stagnated in matters regarding access to services and equality.
Keywords : Health system; National Health System; Colombia; Coverage; Financing; Equity.