Is Anybody Listening?: Ignoring Evidence in the Latin American Health Reform Debates

Oct 2000
Throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, countries are in the midst of debates about their health systems. Frequently, the characteristics of reforms in one country are used to promote or criticize particular proposals in another. Despite the great importance and potential from learning from external models, evidence frequently makes very little difference to the way models are perceived and described in the political and social arena. To illustrate this point, the author takes Chile as an example, a country whose health reform has been widely decried as the most horrible of neo-liberal health reforms. However, the author states that Chile has one of the most progressive health systems in the world when measured by the combination of tax incidence and public health spending.