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The purpose of this study is to identify similarities and differences between healthcare systems of South Africa and Chile. The World Health Report 2000, the Human Development Index, and financial indicators were used for comparison. Chile showed better performance than South Africa in most of the measures used. Significant progress has been made in South Africa, bringing better education, healthcare and housing to the deprived black majority. However, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, weighs heavily on health indicators. Chile decentralized its health services and implemented economic reforms during the 1980's and has had steady improvement in its healthcare indicators. Finally, these counties share: World Bank classification as middle income economies, dual public/private health systems, skewed income distribution and allocation towards the private sector, with relatively high private health expenditures as a percentage of total health expenditures, focus in primary health care in their public health system and implementation of new healthcare reforms.


This article first appeared in the 2005 issue of The Internet Journal of World Health and Societal Politics, and is reprinted with permission.

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