Prospective analysis apllied to nursing education
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[Introduction]. The economic crisis which is affecting the world as a whole has been most severe in its impact in the Region of the Americas since the eighties. The progressive worsening of the problems of the economically dependent countries in Latin America and the Caribbean was expressed most emphatically from the outset in the unfavorable balance of payments, in external indebtedness, and maladjustments in their domestic policies, as evidenced in high rates of inflation, unemployment, and declining income. The deterioration of the political and socioeconomic framework of the countries and the alternatives, presented from an economic point of view exclusively, prompted cutbacks in government spending, which particularly affected the social sector. The effects of the measures adopted have brought a further worsening in the living conditions of the population and a weakening of the effectiveness of the social services traditionally provided by the governments. Population shifts, the dynamics of institutional changes, including the definition of professional functions, and the availability and demand for jobs highlight the gravity of the situation. The health sector, identified as an integral part of the social sector and regarded as a key element for obtaining better living conditions for the population, reflects the impact of the crisis. The direct effects of the crisis are manifested in the population initially through a deterioration in infant nutrition and in the intensification of disease rates-to cite some areas which demand greater health care. Lack of access to services for ever-increasing sections of the population is another critical area. The long-term effects are estimated to be even greater than those presently apparent.
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