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World Bank approves USD 300 million-loan for Argentina to provide Health Coverage to Population without Formal Health Insurance

The Project will benefit approximately 15 million users of the public health system and the Government will inject USD 350 million in it.

The Board of Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), one of the five organizations that are part of the World Bank Group, approved a USD 300-million loan aimed at the Project: “Support for an Effective Universal Health Coverage in Argentina”.

“The loan represents the confidence Argentina has achieved before multilateral credit organizations since the beginning of President Mauricio Macri’s Administration”, the Minister of Finance, Luis Caputo, said. Accordingly, Mr. Minister added: “Financing will enable to extend health coverage to the most vulnerable sectors”.

The Project will extend health services coverage for the population under 65 without formal health insurance. In addition, the Program will improve the capacity of the National and the Provincial Ministries of Health to implement mechanisms of provision of services.

Likewise, the National Government will inject USD 358.05 million in the Project, which will finance capitation payments (fixed value per patient) for the provision of certain general and highly complex health benefits in public healthcare systems.

The initiative will also improve the institutional capacity of the National and Provincial Ministries of Health, increasing the coordination between them and the efficiency in the use of the public resources allocated for the provision of health services for low-income population.

This project will enable the access to technical assistance, medical equipment and IT services, improving the effective and equitable access for the beneficiaries of the public health system, representing 14.9 million people (7.5 million of them are women).

Health indices in Argentina have substantially improved compared with past decades, particularly for maternal and child health and, in certain way, for non-communicable diseases. However, and due to inefficiencies in health expenditure, some indices are lower than in other countries with similar or even lower per capita income.

There are still inequalities among the different population groups and geographic regions of the country, with unequal results both in quality and in access-possibility among the Provinces, mainly in the Northeast and Northwest regions of the country, where indigenous populations live.

Said inefficiencies and inequalities arise partly from the highly fragmented nature of the health system. Thus, the Project will reinforce the Universal Health Coverage fostered by the Government with particular focus on the population without formal health insurance and the coordination between the Ministries of Health in order to make a more efficient use of the resources.