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:
- Develop an integrated health services network, based on universal coverage, through which all people could access quality medical care
- Create a national medical emergency system to provide emergency medical services across the country
- Guarantee access to medical drugs and vaccines
- Create national health forums where communities and stakeholders could participate in policy decisions regarding the health sector
- Establish institute of health to conduct research on health challenges and social determinants of health
- 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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