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close this bookThe Nutrition and Health Transition of Democratic Costa Rica (INFDC, 1995, 228 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentContributors to this volume
View the documentIntroduction
close this folder1. Health policies and strategies
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentA brief description of Costa Rica
View the documentPublic health development
View the documentThe decade of the 1970s
View the documentThe decade of the 1980s
View the documentFinal reflections
View the documentReferences
close this folder2. Development of the social security institute
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentBackground
View the documentSocial security in Costa Rica
View the documentThe extension of direct insurance
View the documentExtension of insurance to the family
View the documentThe financial crisis
View the documentThe constitutional amendment
View the documentToward universalization
View the documentDevelopment of human resources
View the documentThe integration
View the documentThe new health care models
View the documentFinal comments
close this folder3. Development and characteristics of health and nutrition services for urban and rural communities of Costa Rica
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentBackground information on community outreach programs
View the documentMethodological characteristics of the Costa Rican health programs
View the documentNutrition programs
View the documentImpact of the programs on the health of children living in rural areas
View the documentConclusions
View the documentReferences
View the documentBibliography
close this folder4. Evolution of an epidemiological profile
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentStages of a process
View the documentThe first four decades of the century
View the documentThe period between 1940 and 1970
View the documentThe decade of the 1970s
View the documentThe decade of the 1980s
View the documentThe last decade of the century
View the documentFinal comments
View the documentReferences
close this folder5. Socioeconomic factors for the understanding of health policy during the 1970s
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentRecognition of social demands and the regulation of the conflict during the 1930s and 1940s
View the documentThe social government in the new development strategy of Costa Rica during the 1950s and 1960s
View the documentThe consolidated social government
View the documentFinal reflections
View the documentAcknowledgement
View the documentReferences
close this folder6. Problems and challenges of the health sector during the 1980s
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentSome problems of the health sector in the 1980s
View the documentBalance of the 1980s and perspectives for the 1990s in the health sector
View the documentReferences
View the documentAppendix 1 - Glossary
close this folderAppendix 2 - Supplementary reading list
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentEnglish-language supplementary reading list
View the documentSpanish-language supplementary reading list
View the documentSupplementary reading list - INCAP publications
close this folderAppendix 3 - Health conditions in Costa Rica 1994
View the documentGeneral information
View the documentSpecific health problems

Introduction

A systematic intervention of the government of Costa Rica in the health sector began in 1940 through the formation of the Social Security Institute (CCSS) and the strengthening of the Ministry of Health. Beginning in the 1950s, the government increased its participation in the social sector as part of a new development strategy. The health sector was not an exception, and in fact, at this time, government intervention became more intense, culminating in the 1970s, when Costa Rica was considered a model country in the area of health.

At the beginning of the 1980s, the country entered a period of economic crisis that had enormous consequences for the quality of life of the population. Some of the consequences in the health sector were deterioration in some services, economic difficulties in meeting the new demand for services, and government pressure to adopt measures that reduced expenditures.

The problems that were generated by this situation supported the view that the health sector needed to be restructured. This process coincided (at the beginning of the 1980s) with the emergence of neoliberal ideas and the implementation of structural adjustment and stabilization policies that had a strong influence on the evolution of the health sector.

With the purpose of understanding the events of the 1980s that took place in the health sector as a result of the crisis and the structural adjustment, our main objective in this chapter is to analyze the main problems in the health sector, experiences in institutional reorganization, and new models in health care. The last section summarizes the evolution of the health sector in the 1980s and discusses some issues related to the possible situation in the 1990s.