Latin America: The China of 2020 and the Booming Healthcare Industry
Employee healthcare requirements could impact American companies’ decisions to expand their business to the global market. Latin America is moving fast towards a healthcare system that resembles our own and will surely facilitate management of this critical aspect for U.S. companies that recognize the ample business opportunity to invest in Latin America.
Throughout the last few decades, healthcare systems in Latin America have experienced activity and popularity surges among both international and domestic citizens. Affordable and accessible public-private healthcare initiatives and partnerships define a healthcare system model that efficiently serves a major market and is set to transcend all others in the near future.
Latin American countries already exhibit relatively high rates of public participation in their respective healthcare systems. As an example, the institution of a particular family health plan in Brazil recently contributed to the expansion of healthcare participation to nearly 70% of the population. Similarly, recent reports show that Colombia and Chile both posted increased health care participation rates: 73% and 80% respectively, compared to the U.S.’s healthcare participation of roughly 83%. These high rates of both public and private health insurance participation are trends that will only increase with the rising Latin American middle class and with economic progress in the region.
Latin America’s population growth accompanies increasing access to health professionals and facilities in many Latin American countries. In Brazil, Chile and Mexico, the number of medical schools and health facilities has grown quickly in the region over the last century. The ratio of doctors in Uruguay (3.65) and in Argentina (3.01) rose just above the ratio of doctors in OECD countries, such as Canada (2.14) and the United States (2.45) according to data from the WHO . Thus, the breath of medical resources as well as the reduced cost of health care services available in many Latin American countries presents points of investment for American companies everywhere.
Clearly, this critical aspect of employee healthcare can be effectively managed within many Latin American countries and that the structure of healthcare in Latin America encourages increased investment in the region by American businesses. Once more, our neighboring Latin American countries have much more in common with us than commonly expected.
Insurance companies from health to life and from property to casualty have an awesome opportunity to expand by targeting Latin America’s new middle class.
Stay tuned the next installment of our China 2020 series.