How universal is coverage and access to diagnosis and treatment for Chagas disease in Colombia? A health systems analysis

by Cucunubá ZM, Manne-Goehler JM, Díaz D, Nouvellet P, Bernal O, Marchiol A, Basáñez MG, Conteh L. Social Science & Medicine 2017, doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.01.002.

Summary: The authors describe the compulsory health insurance scheme that was established in 1993 in Colombia. In 2008, the Ministry of Health in Colombia set up a national programme aimed at controlling, preventing, and treating Chagas disease, with recommended diagnostic and treatment pathways being introduced in 2011. The authors sought to assess the healthcare scheme using a mixed methods approach to see if and how the high level of coverage offered by the scheme extends to those with Chagas disease, a traditionally marginalized population. Serious shortcomings in the effectiveness of the health care scheme in treating patients with Chagas disease were identified. Specific recommendations aimed at improving access to diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease are made, along with opportunities that will help inform additional planned health reforms.

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