The government of Bolivia under the presidential administration of Evo Morales announced on January 2, 2019, will implement universal healthcare coverage for more than 5 million uninsured people nationwide in March. Bolivian Health Minister Adolfo Zarate said that the government’s health ministry will register uninsured citizens between the ages of five years old and 60 years old under a public healthcare system. More than $200 million from the national budget will fund the universal healthcare program.
Public sector doctors have already planned to strike against this new public program. Primarily organized by the Medical Association of Bolivia, the organization said that the country does not have enough medical or healthcare professionals as well as medical or healthcare infrastructure to utilize as well as be part of the universal healthcare system.
Since taking power more than 10 years ago in 2006, Morales, the South American country’s first native indigenous president, and his leftist Movement for Socialism political party have governed the country with decreases in inflation, extreme poverty, and income inequality after the Pink Tide of the 2000s that swept Latin America’s political left into institutional power in countries such as Venezuela with Hugo Chavez, Argentina with the Kirchners, Ecuador with Rafael Correa, and Brazil with Lula Da Silva. Morales will run for re-election for his fourth term in October 2019 after term limits were abolished by the country’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice.
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