Privatization of the Healthcare System in Honduras
Updated: Sep 14, 2020
The Honduran Healthcare System is currently going through a crisis that isn't new but started to show the worst side of it. The system provides 3 healthcare facilities per 10,000 people, only 0.3 hospitals. The hospitals barely solve the high demand of patients with only 7.2 beds for inpatients per 10,000 people. We have 9 multi-specialized hospitals but only have 16 health professionals per 10,000 people, the WHO recommends above 23. There is only 3.4 doctors per 10,000 people hire in the Health System with a high index of unemployment of about 7,000 doctors out of 16,000 doctors, including specialist doctors.
The total expenditure on health per capita is about 100$, is only about 6% of the national budget and the minimum wage is about 352$, in contrast with health costs, the World Bank now has a simpler definition of financial catastrophe, i.e. occurring when out-of-pocket payment exceeds 10% of a household’s total income. In Honduras performing a CT can cost more than 10% of total income.
On the other hand, it has been proven by the National Anticorruption Council (CNA) that 49% of the national health budget is stolen. The crisis has become a tool for a politician to create a new law that privatizes healthcare. Ley Marco de Protección Social was approved in 2015, aiming to save the health system. Unfortunately, there was a hidden agenda from Congress, they created a law that privatizes healthcare and subsidizes healthcare for the unprotected population.
In Honduras 6 out of 10 are poor and out of those 6, 4 are extremely poor. General unemployment is running high numbers and living expenses exceed the minimum salary. Only a small portion of the population has a formal job, giving them the chance to pay insurance for service from the Instituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social (Honduras Social Security Institute). The government plans to invest a set amount budge a year for the rest of the population, an amount that will only provide patients with a medical consult and a part of the management. However, in terms of more complex illness patients will have to pay, get loans or wait for institutions to provide the service when approved by higher governance. Unfortunately, the most unprotected population will be on the edge of financial catastrophe and death.
The Honduran Medical College for the past 3 years have been taking a stand against these policies ensuring the most unprotected have access to a universal and high-quality health service.