Case Studies

El Salvador – Transforming the Economy

Tags: Wellbeing Policy Design

After decades of civil war and instability, El Salvador was one of the poorest countries in Latin America. In 2009, President Funes was elected and pledged to support a collective, democratic and participatory development of a national health system.

The intention was to take a human rights approach; employ inter-sectoral work to address the social determinants of health; develop an equitable, efficient, fair and universal national health system funded by general revenues; and integrate the development of sub-regional and regional health policies.

Their wellbeing goal was to: ‘Guarantee the right to health of all Salvadoreans through a National Health System that steadily strengthens its public segments (including social security) and effectively regulates its private segments, and provides access to health promotion, prevention, care, and rehabilitation, and a healthy, safe environment, including (but not limited to) the creation and maintenance of an efficient health care system, with high problem-solving capacity and equitable access to quality services for all’

In order to achieve this goal, they identified several key intervention areas in the economy for the five-year policy period:

  1. Develop an integrated health services network, based on universal coverage, through which all people could access quality medical care
  2. Create a national medical emergency system to provide emergency medical services across the country
  3. Guarantee access to medical drugs and vaccines
  4. Create national health forums where communities and stakeholders could participate in policy decisions regarding the health sector
  5. Establish institute of health to conduct research on health challenges and social determinants of health
  6. Develop a unified health information system to analyze health data to support informed decision making at every level of the national healthcare system

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