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Costa Rica
Tuesday, May 17, 2022

‘The Costa Rica model’: The New Yorker profiles Costa Rica healthcare

The New Yorker, a United States-based magazine, will highlight Costa Rica’s healthcare system in its August 30 edition.

The story will be called “The Costa Rica model” in print and runs under the online headline, “Costa Ricans live longer than us. What’s the secret?”

Part of the answer, writes medical professional Atul Gawande, is Costa Rica’s healthcare model. The country has allocated sufficient resources and developed a system of community clinics that improves health outcomes and reduces healthcare inequalities.

As Gawande notes:

The results are enviable. Since the development of the EBAIS system, deaths from communicable diseases have fallen by ninety-four per cent, and decisive progress has been made against non-communicable diseases as well. It’s not just that Costa Rica has surpassed America’s life expectancy while spending less on health care as a percentage of income; it actually spends less than the world average. The biggest gain these days is in the middle years of life. For people between fifteen and sixty years of age, the mortality rate in Costa Rica is 8.7 per cent, versus 11.2 per cent in the U.S.—a thirty-per-cent difference. But older people do better, too: in Costa Rica, the average sixty-year-old survives another 24.2 years, compared with 23.6 years in the U.S.

The full story is well-worth your time and can be read in its entirety here or in next Monday’s print edition.

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