Ecuador Health Issues
There are many common diseases in Ecuador due to the lack of health care, such as malaria, water-borne diseases, and respiratory infections. The country is divided into four regions with high altitudes and harsh climates. The savagery of the environment makes not only citizens prone to being infected, but tourists as well. Only the richest people in the nation can afford private health care to avoid these problems. This is why Ecuador's Ministry of Public Health created health care policies to try and help those most vulnerable to diseases.
The current structure of the Ecuadorian public health care system dates back to 1967.
The Ecuadorian public health care system permits patients to be treated daily as outpatients in public general hospitals, with no previous appointment, by general practitioners and specialists. This is organized around the four basic specialties of pediatric medicine, gynecology, clinical medicine, and surgery. Specialty hospitals are also part of the public health care system to target chronic diseases or a particular group of the population. For instance, there are ontological hospitals to treat cancer patients, children's hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, gynecologic and maternity hospitals, geriatric hospitals, ophthalmologic hospitals and gastroenterological hospitals, among others.
Although fully equipped general hospitals are found in the major cities or capitals of the provinces, there are basic hospitals in the smaller towns and canton cities for family care consultation and treatment in pediatrics, gynecology, clinical medicine, and surgery.
Community health care centers (Centros de Salud), or day hospitals, are found inside metropolitan areas of cities and in rural areas. These day hospitals give care to patients whose hospitalization is less than 24 hours.
Most of the rural communities in Ecuador have a sizable population of indigenous people; the doctors assigned to those communities, called also “rural doctors, " are in charge of small clinics to meet the needs of these patients in the same fashion as the day hospitals in the major cities. The care given in rural hospitals is required to respect the culture of the community.
The MSP provides health services to 30 percent of the Ecuadorian population. The Social Security Institute covers 18 percent of the population. Two percent is covered by the Armed Forces. NGO's (Non Governmental Organizations) cover about five percent. Private services cover 20 percent.
In 2011 there were 1.7 medical practitioners per 1, 000 population.
1830s: Surveys in urban areas show a range of 5 to 108 infant deaths per 1000 live births, whereas those in urban areas vary from 90 to 200.
1950s: Intestinal ailments and respiratory diseases (including bronchitis, emphysema, asthma and pneumonia) cause roughly 3/4 of all infant deaths.
1959: The Ecuadorian government conducts a national survey to determine conclusions about the malnutrition rates in Ecuador.
1960s: More limited studies about malnutrition rates are conducted.
late 1960s: 40% of preschool children show some degree of malnutrition. 30% of children under 12 years of age are malnourished and 15% are anemic.
late 1980s: Childhood mortality decreases to .9%
1991: Health officials in Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile banned entry of uncooked food from Peru, particularly fish, which reduced the spread of many diseases in Ecuador.
2010: Dengue hemorrhagic fever epidemic in Ecuador.
General Health of Ecuadorians
Life expectancy at birth: 78 years
Childhood Mortality (per 1000 live births): 24