Friday, June 30, 2006

IDB helps provide Ecuador with universal healthcare

(Source Article: IDB approves $90 million to universal health insurance -

The Inter-American Development Bank recently announced that they would provide a $90 million loan to Ecuador for a universal healthcare program whose first priority is giving access to health insurance to the poor. Despite improvements in overall health in the country, there still remains huge gaps of health-related inequalities that are linked to such factors as income, education, race, etc.

The project will be put into action by Ecuador's Secretariat for the Millennium Development Goals (SODEM) and the Ministry of Public Health. The first phase of the program will seek to improve the quality of services for those in the lowest income quintiles, and gradually work up the income scale. The program will provide a basic package of services: health promotion, collective and individual preventive and curative healthcare. The World Bank also approved $90 million earlier this year to assist in the implementation of this program (see World Bank approves $90 million - World Bank News)

The loan is for 25 years, including a four-year grace period, with interest charges partially covered by the IDB itself. The plan, according to Ecuador’s President, intends to provide universal healthcare to all Ecuadorians by 2015, as part of the MDGs. (see Statement by the President of the Republic of Ecuador –

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