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Salud Colectiva

On-line version ISSN 1851-8265

Abstract

UGALDE, Antonio  and  HOMEDES, Núria. Latin America: capital accumulation, health, and the role of international institutions. Salud Colectiva [online]. 2007, vol.3, n.1, pp. 33-48. ISSN 1851-8265.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1851-82652007000100003.

During the second half of the 20th century, there have been great transformations in the world's social and political organization. While the colonial system was being dismantled, international institutions were being built and the large multinational enterprises that took on the function of capital accumulation for the new transnational bourgeoisie began to emerge. This paper analyzes such transformation in the health sector and provides information on the role of international institutions in capital accumulation. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization are used as examples, as well as international cooperation agencies. Two major policies are addressed: health reforms and medicine-related policies. The analysis shows that reforms and medicine-related policies have not aimed at complying with the Latin American countries' constitutional mandate requiring Governments to provide health services to everyone but at accumulating capital. Multinational enterprises have used international institutions to ensure their aim of accumulating capital, and the paper concludes by suggesting that they were created for that purpose.

Keywords : World Bank; Drugs; Health Public Policy.

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