Colombia’s Ministry of Health demanded on Monday that the government add $1.8 billion in health spending for 2014, reported Spanish newspaper El Pais.
For health spending that weighs in a t 6.5% of GDP, Colombia’s Health Minister feels that the money allocated to health should at least be 7% GDP, saying that anything less than that would mean a great deal of difficulties for establishing financial security for the sector.
“Today in Colombia,” Minister Alejandro Gaviria Uribe told El Pais, “We are spending $20 billion dollars on health. That seems like a lot. But if we compare it with the size of our economy, it is 6.5%… if we divide that by the [population] of Colombia, it results in $400 dollars per person.”
According to statistics from the Ministry of Finance, in 2012 Colombia’s government budgeted $97.3 billion dollars in spending. Roughly $6 billion dollars of the budget were dedicated to health spending.
Leonardo Villar, President of Economic and Social policy think tank Fedesarrollo, told El Pais that reform in the health sector does still not solve the fundamental problems facing the country.
If a peace deal between the Colombian government and the rebel organization FARC is reached within the year, defense spending could be pulled back.
And in that case, the Minister’s cry for more cash to protect Colombia’s health might not only be more legitimate, but more practical too.
- Colombia National Budget 2013 (Ministry of Finance)
- Sector de salud en Colombia requiere $3.5 billones para el 2014 (El Pais)