Countries in Region Implement Digital Health Measures
9 octubre 2019


In recent weeks, digital health system reforms have been implemented in different Latin American countries. In Uruguay, Law 19.798 was enacted, guaranteeing the use of Electronic Medical Records to control and treat Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs). The Executive must regulate Clinical History use before March 23, 2020. Progress has also been announced in the implementation of electronic oncology medical records. In Chile, they are seeking to reduce 84% of the budget allocated to the Digital Hospital initiative to promote telemedicine, within the fiscal spending provisions for 2020.

On September 25, the Uruguayan government enacted Law 19.798, regulating the control and treatment of NCDs through a series of measures aimed at improving their control and treatment, including access to National Electronic Medical Records (HCEN for its acronym in Spanish). The Executive must enable access to the HCEN and implement the law within 180 days. In this context, Álvaro Luongo, president of the Honorary Commission for the Fight against Cancer, announced that work is being done to create biobanks and incorporate medical oncology records into a digital system throughout the country.

In the case of Chile, Health Minister Jaime Mañalich, announced on October 4 that the 2020 budget for the health portfolio will reduce the allocation for the Digital Hospital project, a virtual system based on shared clinical records which enables health professionals to perform medical diagnosis and analysis remotely. The Digital Hospital’s current budget item of CH$32.325 billion (US$ 44.5 million) will be slashed to  CH$5.130 billion (US$ 7 million) in 2020, a loss of 84% of the allocation received in 2019, CH$27.195 billion (US$ 37.5 million). The ministry explained that this was due to a budgetary reformulation and reallocation, as the project is not considered to be a priority for the Chilean health system.

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