Health In Ecuador
The current structure of the Ecuadorian public health care system dates back to 1967. The Ministry of the Public Health (Ministerio de Salud Publica del Ecuador) is the responsible entity of the regulation and creation of the public health policies and health care plans. The “Minister of Public Health” is appointed directly by the President of the republic. His current "ministro", or Ecuadorian general surgeon, is Dr. David Chiriboga, a specialist and investigator in communitarian medicine
The philosophy of the Ministry of Public Health is the social support and service to the most vulnerable population and it main plan of action lies around communitarian health and preventive medicine.
The Ecuadorian public health care system permit patients to be attended daily in public general hospitals, with no previous appointment, by general practitioners and specialists in the “Consulta Externa” (External Consultation). This is done in the 4th basic specialties of pediatric, gynecology, clinic medicine, and surgery. Specialty hospitals are also part of the public health care system to target chronic diseases or a particular group of the population. For instance, Oncologic hospitals to treat the cancer patients, Children Hospitals, Psychiatric Hospitals, Gynecologic & Maternity hospitals, Geriatric Hospitals, Ophthalmologic Hospitals, Gastroenterological hospital, among others.
Although full equipped general hospitals are found in the major cities or capitals of province, there are basic hospitals in the smaller towns and canton cities, for family care consultation and treatments in pediatrics, gynecology, clinic medicine, and surgery.
Community health care centers (Centros de Salud), or daily hospitals, are found inside metropolitan areas of cities and in rural areas. These are Day Hospitals with attention to patients whose hospitalization is inferior to 24 hours. Most of the rural communities in Ecuador have a sizeable population of indigenous people; the doctors assigned to those communities, called also “rural doctors”, have under their responsibility small clinics for the attention of this patients in the same fashion as the Day Hospitals in the major cities. The attention in rural hospitals must respect the culture of the community.
The MSP provides health services to 30% of the Ecuadorian population. The Social Security Institute covers 18% of the population. 2% is covered by the Armed Force. NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) cover about 5%. Private services cover 20%.
Number of inhabitants per doctor: 980
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