Health Systems Profi le Belize: Monitoring and Analyzing Health Systems Change/Reform
978-92-75-13040-7 (Electronic)978-92-75-12958-6 (Print)
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[Executive Summary]. The annual population growth of Belize is estimated at 3.3% for both periods of reporting (2000-2004 and 2005-2007). Population indicators show that Belize is in the third phase of demographic transition which is characterized by a stable crude death rate, declining crude birth rates, continued population growth, an increased burden of non-communicable, communicable and degenerative diseases on population mortality relating to lifestyles, increasing life-span, environmental conditions, and sexual risk behaviors. Epidemiological data show that maternal, infant and neonatal mortality rates have increased in the last few years. Mortality from AIDS, malignant neoplasms of the lung and breast, and circulatory diseases has also shown a notable increase. The health sector in Belize is impacted by political, social, economic and environmental conditions. Belize is a sovereign state governed by the principles of parliamentary democracy with a stable political environment. However, there are major challenges that affect the health situation, including poverty and unemployment, slow economic growth, insufficient human resources, market incentives and globalization, partisan political tensions, and border disputes. Public expenditure per capita increased from US$1,973 (2000-2004) to US$ 2,293 (2005-2007). Public expenditure on health per capita was US$243.57 in 2007. A review of the social determinants of health shows that Belize has made strides in education with an increase in primary school enrollment, and in providing access to safe, potable water, but has made limited progress in sanitation, especially in rural areas. An increase in waste generation and inadequate waste management represent a major national challenge. The Ministry of Health (MoH) is responsible for leading the health sector. The national public health system delivers services through a network of institutions at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. The current emphasis is on the primary and preventive care focusing on the prevalence of lifestyle and behavior related conditions as indicated by the country’s epidemiological profile. MoH implemented the Health Sector Reform project consisting of three major components, namely, sector restructuring, services rationalization and improvement, and financing strategy...
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