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Peru modernizes management to improve universal coverage of health services with IDB support

$300 million loan is linked to reforms that will help improve expenditures and cover the uninsured

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $300 million loan for Peru as part of a program to modernize the management of the health sector, which will help the country to achieve universal coverage of health services.

This loan, the first of two, is designed to consolidate the role of the Seguro Integral de Salud (SIS) as a public health insurance program, put in place an integrated network of services and strengthen the efficiency of public and private spending in health.

SIS has expanded the coverage of its health insurance each year and now covers more than 15 million Peruvians, including the poorest and most vulnerable. Nevertheless, in 2014 about 30 percent of the country's population reported that it had no health insurance at all. Because of that, the government created a semi-contributive system within SIS, which to date has covered about 285,000 people. Consolidating the SIS is fundamental for the country's continued development and accumulation of human capital.

Available evidence shows that focusing on primary health care services at health centers, clinics, outpatient facilities and hospitals improves the quality of the services delivered and slows the growth in costs. This program supports measures to improve the work of the Coordinated Networks for Primary Health Care and reinforces mechanisms for exchanges between public insurers through the regulation of the services offered.

The project also will help to optimize public spending on health services by strengthening the Health Ministry as the manager of investment policies and by consolidating the National Health Investments Program.

“These steps are essential for meeting the country's goal that all Peruvians be covered by insurance and can exercize their right to acccess quality health services,” said Frederico Guanais, head of the IDB team handling the project.

The funds for this operation come from the IDB's ordinary capital and can be drawn over three years. The interest rate is based on LIBOR. The executing agency is Peru's Ministry of Economy and Finances.

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The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source oflong-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean.The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.