The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) highlighted Costa Rica’s health indicators on Tuesday in areas such as life expectancy and preventable diseases, but pointed out challenges in investment and resources in the health system.
The OECD Health Panorama report indicates that in Costa Rica life expectancy is 80.8 years, which is 0.5 years above the average of OECD countries, while in mortality from preventable diseases. The country registers a rate of 148 per 100,000 inhabitants, slightly lower than the organization’s average, which is 158.
Another piece of information from the report published this past Tuesday indicates that only 3.4% of Costa Ricans rate their health status as bad or very bad, while the average of the organization’s countries is 7.9%.
Regarding health status
Costa Rica registers better numbers than the OECD average in 75% of the indicators measured in the report; in risk factors it exceeds the organization’s average in 56% of the indicators; in quality of care in 67% of the indicators and in access to services in 40%.
The report highlights data from Costa Rica such as the prevalence of smoking, which is 7.8%, or the alcohol consumption of 3.1 liters per capita, which are much lower than 16% and 8.6 liters. Respectively, which the OECD countries average.However, Costa Rica’s record is worse in obesity prevalence (31.2%) compared to the organization’s nations (25.7%).Costa Rica also recorded a lower indicator for women screened for breast cancer (36%), compared to the OECD (55%).
In terms of health system resources, Costa Rica only exceeds the OECD average in 17% of the indicators.In this area, it stands out that Costa Rica’s spending on health is 7.2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while in the OECD the average is 9.2% of GDP.
In addition, Costa Rica has 1.2 hospital beds per 1,000 people, unlike the 4.3 that the countries that make up the organization have.However, the OECD highlighted the high coverage of the country’s health system at 91%, as well as the level of people’s satisfaction with the health services received, which is 70%.Costa Rica has been part of the OECD since May 2021 and is one of the four Latin Americans along with Chile, Colombia and Mexico.