What does COVID-19 tell us about the Peruvian health system?

Camila Gianella, Jasmine Gideon, Maria Jose Romero (2020)

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed attention to health systems and inequalities globally. Countries that were previously considered to have “successfully developed” have not been able to adequately contain the spread of the virus or address the wider societal fall-out from the virus, suggesting broader underlying structural problems. The pandemic has hit Latin America hard, as it is one of the regions most affected by COVID-19.

Within Latin America, the Peruvian case is particularly striking. Peru seemed well placed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as a country that had achieved sustained economic growth and moved towards achieving universal health coverage. However, Peru has one of the highest rates of transmission and mortality worldwide. This article analyses what the pandemic has unveiled with regards to the health system, arguing that a focus on meeting global development targets, including by promoting public-private partnerships in health, has distracted attention from the underlying structural causes of inequalities and enabled the continuation of a highly fragmented system, with access determined by income, gender, ethnicity and geography.

Full article: https://doi.org/10.1080/02255189.2020.1843009 

Camila Gianella is a Global Fellow and a Research Leader for the Health & Law Unit at LawTransform. She is the Executive Director of CISEPA Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and a researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.

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