Health care in Peru


When it comes to healthcare in Peru, the country faces a daunting task. There are a number of challenges for the country in healthcare. Besides fighting against a range of diseases, the healthcare system in Peru also has to fight against the lower infrastructure as well as centralization of wealth. As the country sees contrasting inequalities of wealth among its citizens, only a selected few can avail good quality medical services. Though the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is currently supporting the efforts of the Peru government to decentralize the healthcare system of the nation, yet healthcare in Peru has way to go.

Healthcare System in Peru

The socio-economic condition of the nation has a great impact on the healthcare system in Peru. Due to contrasting income inequalities, more than 50 percent of the population lives in poverty, while around 20 percent remains below the poverty line. Providing medical services to these people is really a daunting task. With the help of USAID, the government of Peru is working towards improving their medical infrastructure as well as enhancing their reach to cover more number of poor people. The government is trying to expand the primary care services as much as possible.

In order to improve the Peru healthcare system, Seguro Integral de Salud (SIS) was established in 2002 to offer free healthcare to all the citizens. However, a few hidden costs like travel and prescription drug costs also came as barrier for the poor. Peru has 8 national hospitals all located in Lima, as well as a number of regional hospitals. Besides these, there are also a number of other hospitals, mostly located in Lima again.


The Challenges

The country has the highest infant mortality rate in Latin America. Also the mortality rate for women in childbirth is on the higher side. Besides these, being the home to an extensive range of deep jungles, Peru also sees the diseases like Dengue fever, Yellow fever and Leishmaniasis etc. The country also has to fight against tuberculosis infection. Most of the hospitals and medical facilities are concentrated in Lima and a few other places. There are many regions within the country, which lack of any hospital or medical facilities. Therefore, Peru needs to enhance their medical infrastructure in a great extent.