Comparative Health Systems- Universal Health Care
Costa Rica, a middle-income country, has health status indicators, including longevity and infant mortality rates, which rival those of the U.S. while spending much less money as measured by per capita expenditures or percentage of GDP. The Costa Rican system focuses on primary care and health promotion to improve the health of vulnerable and poor population groups resulting in improved health for all. Health is regarded as a human right in Costa Rica, but not in the U.S. This program compares the health care systems of the United States and Costa Rica. The course examines national histories, philosophies, and cultural influences in light of the development of each country’s health care system. While abroad, you will experience first-hand public health topics through lectures, discussions, and site visits. On this program you will participate in meetings and lectures at the University of Costa Rica, with the majority of program activities and learning taking place in the field during site visits to the Ministry of Health, central and regional hospitals, and primary health care centers, as well as outreach programs designed to address the needs of at-risk populations (e.g. migrant coffee pickers, immigrant populations, and indigenous groups).