World Bank support for Costa Rica healthcare improvement

21 Mar 16

The World Bank has approved an almost half a billion dollar loan to improve the timeliness and quality of health care in Costa Rica and strengthen institutional efficiency.


A doctor a examining patient

A doctor a examining patient


The Central American country, already considered to have one of the best healthcare systems in Latin America, will use the $420m loan to strengthen the fiscal sustainability of its universal health insurance system and the management, organisation and delivery of its services.

Humberto Lopez, World Bank director for Central America, explained that the loan is results-based at the request of the Costa Rican government, and funds will be disbursed according to the fulfilment of goals integral to the country’s strategic health agenda.

The Costa Rican Social Security Administration (CCSS) developed the agenda with the aim of enhancing the existing model by modernising primary health care networks.

This will include managers at both local and national level making timely decisions based on data and the expansion of e-health and other digital tools.

Other outcome indicators include a 22% increase in the priority list for major surgeries related to walking and a 40% increase in screening in areas with the highest incidence of colon cancer.

Rocio Saenz, CCSS executive president, said the project will help increase the sense within Costa Rican society that the healthcare system has the resources needed to fulfil its remit and help pave the way towards results-based management.

The World Bank said that, to speed up progress, the six-year programme includes an advance of 25% of the total loan amount. 

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