Gender equity and health sector reform in Colombia: Mixed state-market model yields mixed results

Christina Ewig, Amparo Hernández Bello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

In 1993, Colombia carried out a sweeping health reform that sought to dramatically increase health insurance coverage and reduce state involvement in health provision by creating a unitary state-supervised health system in which private entities are the main insurers and health service providers. Using a quantitative comparison of household survey data and an analysis of the content of the reforms, we evaluate the effects of Colombia's health reforms on gender equity. We find that several aspects of these reforms hold promise for greater gender equity, such as the resulting increase in women's health insurance coverage. However, the reforms have not achieved gender equity due to the persistence of fees which discriminate against women and the introduction of a two-tier health system in which women heads of household and the poor are concentrated in a lower quality health system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1145-1152
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume68
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

Keywords

  • Colombia
  • Gender equity
  • Health sector reform
  • Latin America
  • Social policy
  • Women

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