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Transformations in Latin American Healthcare: A Retrospective Analysis of Hospital Beds, Medical Doctors, and Nurses from 1960 to 2022

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2023-07-01
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Universitat de Barcelona
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Latin America's healthcare systems evolved nonlinearly, influenced by diverse models, historical events, and political regimes. Limited knowledge exists despite national-level efforts, indicating a need for long-term statistics to assess the effects of reforms and understand healthcare changes in the region. The article contributes to the Actor Network Theory (ANT) claim for better understanding of complex networks through a description of its main long term comparable components with a long term quantitative series for 20 Latin American countries, spanning from 1960 to 2020, on the number of hospital beds, physicians, and nurses (per capita) and healthcare expenditure (in US dollars per capita). The primary goal of this study is to showcase and describe the historical trends and patterns of these variables in the region. The results remain in purpose in this article in a descriptive level, due to the lack of reliable long term series that require in our view to disseminate the data so a broader scientific community may use them to obtain more contextualized interpretations in the different countries involved. The article, nevertheless, shows that there is a very convincing demonstration of the existence of an overall improvement in all the indicators considered and for most Latin American countries. They are leaders in most of the analyses and most of the time, Cuba, Argentina, and Uruguay. They are accompanied, depending on the indicator and the period, by Costa Rica and Panama. On the contrary, there are setbacks in Venezuela and minor progress or stagnation in most Central American countries.
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Matus-Lopez, Mauricio, and Paloma Fernández Pérez. 2023. “Transformations in Latin American Healthcare: A Retrospective Analysis of Hospital Beds, Medical Doctors, and Nurses from 1960 to 2022”. Journal of Evolutionary Studies in Business 8 (2):248-88. https://doi.org/10.1344/jesb2023.8.2.42709.
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