Health in Chile - Statistics & Facts

In Chile, the year 2019 ended with political and social instability after multiple civil protests against the current government. These protests emerged in response to an increase in the cost of living and a general landscape of inequality. In spite of that, the country is still one of the largest economies in Latin America, with one of the highest gross domestic product per capita in the region, amounting to nearly 16 million U.S. dollars in 2018, as well as one of the highest per capita expenditure on health, adding up to almost 2,200 U.S. dollars in that same year. Spending on health has represented more than eight percent of the country’s GDP since 2015.

Despite the relatively high expenditures on health, Chile has one of the lowest number of hospitals in Latin America, with only 381. This compared with the values of other regional counterparts, such as more than six thousand in Brazil, approximately 3.3 thousand in Mexico, and 2.6 thousand in Colombia. Meanwhile, around 37.5 thousand domestically trained doctors, as well as 1.32 thousand foreign trained physicians made up the country’s health workforce in 2018. That same year, around 55.51 thousand nurses provided medical services in the South American country.

Prevalence of long-standing health conditions or illnesses among adults in Chile was one of the highest amongst South American countries, reaching 35 percent of the adult population in 2018. In addition, the Andean country is one of the leaders in the region in terms of overweight and obesity rates. The share of adult population considered obese surpassed 31 percent in 2017, while the share of children in the same condition added up to nearly 11.7 percent.

Consequently, the death rate in Chile has slowly risen since 2007, reaching more than six deaths per 1,000 inhabitants in 2017. One of the main causes of mortality in country was malignant tumors, which accounted for more than 26 thousand deceases in 2017. By type, prostate and breast cancer were the most common diagnosis among patients with this disease, recording together nearly 12 thousand new cases in 2018.

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Health in Chile

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