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WB/Argentina: Ten Million People to Improve Their Access to Health Care

April 28, 2011

Coverage Will Reach Two Thirds of Uninsured Population

BUENOS AIRES, April 28, 2011 – The World Bank Board of Directors (WB) approved today a US$400 million project for Argentina, which seeks to improve access to health care services among 10 million uninsured people.
The Provincial Public Health Insurance Development Project complements the achievements of the Nacer (Birth) Plans I and II in expanding plan benefits to all children and youth less than 20 years of age and women aged 20-64 who currently lack health insurance.
Coverage will thus be expanded to include almost 70 percent of the Argentine population that lacks medical insurance and who find it very difficult to access health care services. The new project includes the provision of basic maternal and children’s care, sexual health and reproductive health care services, as well as preventive and highly complex services, including surgery for congenital heart defects.
“Argentina has developed a results-based financing model for the health care sector, through the Nacer Plan, considered a global example, and which will be deepened and expanded through this new operation. That is why we are pleased to be able to contribute to broadening the Government’s vision in this area,” said Penelope J. Brook, World Bank Director for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The Provincial Public Health Insurance Development program seeks to increase health care coverage among the aforementioned population; guarantee the financial sustainability of provincial health care programs; improve the results-based financing mechanism in order to achieve quality and equity goals; and strengthen the population’s right to access health care services.
The Provincial Public Health Insurance Development Project will focus on two main activities:
1.     Support health care coverage in the provinces: It expects to contribute to the provision of general health care services as well as specific interventions for high cost, low incidence (catastrophic) illnesses, such as breast and cervical cancer and congenital heart disease illnesses in children.
2.     Institutional strengthening of the National Health Ministry and Provincial Health Ministries: The goal is to improve the management capacity as well as monitoring and assessment practices.
The World Bank’s support for the country in healthcare also includes the Essential Public Health Functions Projects I and II, which cover more than four million people through seven priority health care programs and the H1N1 Influenza Response and Control Project that seeks to strengthen the capacity of Argentina’s epidemiological vigilance system.
The project will be financed via a variable-margin, US$400 million loan, with a 27-year maturity period and a 6.5-year grace period.


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