Honduras is a developing country that is grappling with numerous healthcare issues just like other countries. Examination of health determinants indicates that Honduras has yet to provide affordable and accessible healthcare services to its population. In the last decade, Honduras has made significant progress in the healthcare development because it has reduced maternal and infant mortality rates significantly (Price & Asgary, 2011). A reduction in the poverty rates and increase in educational levels of the population are key health determinants, which have significantly improved healthcare conditions of the Hondurans. According to World Health organization (2013), the Secretary of Health provides about 60% of healthcare services, Social Security Institute provides approximately 15% of the services, the private sector offers 10% of the services, while the remaining 15% of the required healthcare services is lacking. These statistics show that the health care system of Honduras provides insufficient healthcare services to the population. Thus, this essay describes the health care system of Honduras by focusing on the delivery of healthcare services.
In structure, the health care system of Honduras comprises of the private and the public sectors. The existence of the public and the private sectors indicates the extent of segmentation, which affects the effective provision of healthcare services. The public sector comprises of the Ministry of Health and Honduran Social Security Institute, which offer healthcare services to about 70% of the population. On the other hand, the private sector consists of private healthcare centers, which offer about 10% of healthcare services to the population. Bermudez-Madriz, Saenz, Muiser, and Acosta (2011) argue that owing to the segmentation of the health care system of Honduras, the National Health Plan 2010-2014 aims at creating an integrated and inclusive system under the stewardship of the Ministry of Health. The integrated system would provide diverse healthcare services that meet various needs of the population.
The health care system of Honduras delivers healthcare services to the people through various healthcare centers that are spread across the country. The distribution of these healthcare centers follows the demand for healthcare services given that a significant number of people cannot access and afford them. The Ministry of Health has 28 hospitals with a bed capacity of 5,059, Honduran Social Security Institute has 2 hospitals with a bed capacity of 916, while private hospitals have a bed capacity of 150 (Pan American Health Organization, 2009). Moreover, the Honduran Social Security Institute and private providers have over a thousand of rural health centers and more than a thousand private clinics respectively. The distribution of these healthcare centers and clinics have enhanced accessibility of healthcare services in rural areas, where marginalization is dominant.
In the past decade, the coverage and quality of healthcare services have increased significantly. Since about 15% of the population does not have access to healthcare services, the health care system strives to enhance accessibility by decentralizing clinics and contracting services from other providers. International Development Agency (2014) reports that decentralization of clinics coupled with contracting of services from other providers has increased maternity attendance by 35% and increased the number of people covered by the Honduran Social Security Institute by 46%. These statistics indicate that the health care system is set to deliver quality and affordable healthcare services to all the population. Moreover, the establishment of learning institutions that offer healthcare courses would enhance the number of healthcare providers, as well as promote their competence in the provision of quality healthcare services. Therefore, Honduran health care system is on track in promoting accessibility and affordability of healthcare services.
Bermudez-Madriz, L., Saenz, M., Muiser, J., & Acosta, M. (2011). Health Care System of Honduras. Salud Publica Mex, 53(2), 209-219.
International Development Agency (2014). Increasing Health Care Quality and Coverage in Honduras. Web.
Pan American Health Organization (2009). Health Systems Profile Honduras Monitoring and Analyzing Health Systems Change. Web.