The healthcare market in Chile

Compared to other Latin American countries, Chile’s economy locates it on the high end, along with Brazil and Argentina as one of the healthcare markets with better prospects. Chilean healthcare expenditures represent about 7.2 percent of the GDP. Funds are managed centrally and distributed to regions and provinces.

Chile’s economic growth plateaued in 2013 and is projected to remain weak in 2014. However, a gradual pick up is expected in 2015, putting Chile back to growth by the end of that year. Drivers of the 2015 return to growth include increases in investment and exports, which will benefit from exchange rate depreciation.

Socio-economic context

Officially known as the “Republic of Chile”, Chile has an area of 756,102 sq km and is located in the Southern part of South America (bordered by the Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru). Part of Chile’s territory includes “Isla de Pascua” and “Isla Sala y Gomez”.

Chile is divided into 15 regions and 54 provinces. Regions are the county’s first administrative level and provinces are second. Each region is headed by an intendant or “intendente” and an elected regional board or “consejo regional”. Provinces are headed by a governor.

Compared to other Latin American countries, public spending places Chile on the high end, along with Brazil and Argentina. Chilean healthcare expenditures represent about 7.2 percent of the GDP. Funds are managed centrally and distributed to regions and provinces.

Chile’s economic growth plateaued in 2013 and is projected to remain weak in 2014. A gradual pick up is expected in 2015, putting Chile back to growth by the end of that year. Drivers of the 2015 return to growth include increases in investment and exports, which will benefit from exchange rate depreciation.

Exports account for approximately one-third of the GDP, with commodities accounting for about three-quarters of total exports. Copper alone provides 20 percent of government revenue.

Economic growth for the next few years will rely heavily on exports, the world copper market (accounting for 20 percent of the GDP and 60 percent of exports), inflation rates and demand from China.

Chile’s main export partners are: China (23 percent), United States (12 percent), Japan (11 percent), South Korea (5.9 percent), and Brazil (5.4 percent). With an economy that is heavily dependent on exports, it is not surprising that GDP growth will be partially tied to the economic climate of its export partners.

Unemployment rates have remained quite steady in Chile during the last few years with a rate of 6.6 percent for 2014. Chile’s main sources of work are in mining, agriculture and construction resulting in the lack of a more “highly educated” work force. This is a major concern for the future.

Inflation rates have been quite unsteady throughout the year, largely due to transitory factors and the swift depreciation of the peso.

Life expectancy in Chile is quite high at 78 years of age. Infant mortality and chronic disease mortality rates were among the lowest in Latin America as well.