Going Beyond Normal Challenges for Health and Healthcare in Latin America and the Caribbean Exposed by Covid-19

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May 2022
This technical note describes how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Latin America and the Caribbean, and analyzes the implications for the health of the population, health spending, and reforms and investments in health services, in order to to understand how we should prepare for future health emergencies. This note summarizes the few empirical studies and analyzes administrative data from hospitals and civil registration systems in four countries. The results show substantial declines in health and health care provision during the first year of the pandemic, particularly in preventive and elective care. Furthermore, while some countries in 2021 returned to pre-pandemic care levels, others still remain below average.
This study concludes with lessons learned on how the pandemic has altered health policy recommendations for the region, generating a greater sense of urgency to move forward with permanent long-term agendas such as eliminating fragmentation, integrating care, and seeking digital transformation while Priorities are reordered towards investments in emergency preparedness, health surveillance, resilience, and self-sufficiency. In other words, go beyond the normal.