Health: Instrument for Development PDF Print E-mail
Costa Rica is a small country located between Nicaragua and Panama in Central America. Life expectancy today for a woman is 82 years and for men 78 years. Infant mortality rate closed the year 2006 with 9.6 per 100 for one thousand born alive. These figures are common in European countries, some Asian ones, Canada and the United States for its Caucasian population. We must state that these countries invest approximately 25 to 30 thousand US dollars per capita annually in order to maintain a first world health.

Thermal Water Costa RicaThe difference with Costa Rica is our country destines between 2 - 3 thousand dollars per capita/year, its economy being that of a small agricultural country, not allowing it to be among nations with a higher purchasing power for their citizens. Nevertheless the index of human development shows that our country is one of the most advanced in this area and despite investing 10 times less money in health than the developed countries, before the world it stands as a first world country healthwise.

The epidemiological transition experienced in our country after a mass vaccination, water potability, sewer system and public lighting, communication routes, education in general, and social security coverage for all the population, beginning by the end of 1940 and later strengthened in 1980 has attracted other countries' attention whose health is developed, to mortality causes other than those affecting our country, such as dysentery or infectocontagious diseases used to be.

Costa Rica set its priorities in medical programs, with asocial organization having control on State activities and this on citizens, fostering health education and prevention at every level and promoting health for all. Healthy life styles, where the social, political, economic and cultural structure have produced a significant advance in our country's development in general, is an issue of great validity and interest for the rest of Latin American countries.

With a mass flow of tourists since 1990, calculated in over one million visitors/year, the establishment of the information industry and the creation of better expectations for the export of non-traditional products has energized the movement of capitals. The country has become interested in more competitiveness; this has not meant an obstacle for medical professional, to be included in this new way of life.

Spa Costa RicaHealth has produced an educated population, with high quality professionals in all fields of knowledge, so their incorporation to national social structure has also created a strong country in health, democracy, and social and political stability, strengthening an economic model enduring the threats of the agitated region we live in.

The country's attraction has been so strong that professionals, even those living abroad for years, have returned here to work; in a few years we may witness how a former Costa Rican astronaut launches a rocket from the North region of Costa Rica, opening the aeronautical career with a view towards international cooperation. Social investment is a constant challenge for politicians, but it's what the population asks and demands, because that is the goal this article refers to.

Most foreign friends with the opportunity to visit our country don't understand how this has been done; it's common that during international medical reunions Costa Rica is set as an example, our achievements – to the amazement of many - standards of a rich country with an economy of a poor country; the difference is that we all work for a better country, investing in health to keep developing.

"Any effort is valid, if it entails a person's life. Thus, the only fact of transmitting a good message may save the life of a whole population; the contrary could be a human catastrophe. Believing in health believes in the political system, the latter in society, and the product of their interrelation."
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