Chile appoints economist to sort out health service

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 30 April 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1121
  1. David Pilling
  1. Chilean correspondent, Financial Times.

    The Chilean government has appointed an economist, Carlos Massad, as the new health minister to sort out what the public regards as a health service riddled with outdated technology, strikes, and long waiting lists. Chile's health service was grossly underfunded during General Augusto Pinochet's 17 years of military rule. When a civilian government was re-established in 1990 rapid economic growth enabled health spending to increase by 50% over four years. But opinion polls show that the public still feels that service is poor. Most of the increased expenditure went on restoring salaries and repairing crumbling hospitals. Dr Francisco Peragallo, medical director at Santiago's Salvador Hospital, said: “Higher spending has had little noticeable effect because …

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