When constitutional justice has the last word on health care: the case of Chile
Client: Alejandra Zúñiga Fajuri
The Chilean health care system is in crisis. Since the recent ruling of the Constitutional Court that declared the risk rating (actuarial insurance) of private health insurers unconstitutional, all of the social actors related to health care have tried to agree on a legislative reform that would overcome the existing highly segmented and inequitable system, which is a legacy of Pinochet’s dictatorship. Here we demonstrate how the social and political demands for legislative reform in the health care sector have been supported by the decisions of the courts. To achieve its goals of reducing equity gaps in health and ending the judicialization of health care (claims for protection represent almost 70% of total resources of the courts), the National Congress of Chile is trying to create a new national health insurance system that guarantees the right to a minimum level of health care. Part of this effort involves obtaining the constitutional approval of the courts. In Chile, justice has the final word on health care.