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    037551
    Peer Reviewed

    Latin American health policy and additive reform: the case of Guatemala.

    Fiedler JL

    International Journal of Health Services. 1985; 15(2):275-99.

    Until the mid 1960s, Latin American health system reflected the skewed distribution of wealth in the region: most health resources were found in curative care medicine and were concentrated in the capital cities, where they primarily served the needs of the elite. For many countries, however, the 1964 Pan American Health Organization's (PAHO) efforts to introduce health planning, intended as a 1st step in rationalizing the health sector, marked a fundamental turning point in the structural development of their delivery systems. Guatemala, however, was and remains an exception. Its technocrats have proven unable to plan effectively; no single entity is responsible for health sector planning, and the 5-year plans have come to consist of disjointed mini-plans, each reflecting the aims, desires and goals of a particular vested interest group or institution. The Guatemalan oligarchy has proven unwilling to appropriate the resources necessary to effect change. The reforms that have been made have been the products of bilateral and multilateral agencies such as the InterAmerican Development Bank, USAID, UNICEF, Kreditanstaldt and PAHO, which have conceptualized, promoted, designed, built and underwritten them. Those changes have not altered the fundamental structure of the system, but instead have been tacked onto it, and exemplify what may be termed additive reform. The government of Guatemala's own commitment to these outside agency funded projects is reflected in the recurrent shortfall of current or operating funds, and in the rapid depreciation of facilities. Evidence suggests that without the continued sponsorship, support, and guidance of the bilateral and multilateral agencies, even these additive reforms will not last.
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