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Impact on equity of access and efficiency of Integrated Health care Networks (IHN) in Colombia and Brazil (Equity-LA)

During the last two decades, many countries in Latin America introduced reforms to their financial and delivery structures aiming at tackling health care inequity and inefficiency. Integrated health care networks (IHN) emerged as a consequence of one of the reforms and that is widely promoted by governments and international organisations in Latin America in spite of the lack of evidence available on its impact on the equity and efficiency of the whole system.

The aim of the project  is to analyse the impact of different types of integrated health care networks (IHN) to health care access and health care provision efficiency, by analysing the experiences of two Latin America countries -Colombia and Brazil- with health systems with similar principles but different organisation.

To reach this objective, the project adopts an innovative multidisciplinary approach to health care systems research, combining qualitative and quantitative methods. The project is two-pronged: two country national study and a cross-country comparative analysis.

The research will provide evidence on the implications of introducing IHN for equity in access and efficiency. It will inform the development of policies conducive to better quality and more efficient health care provision. In addition, the research will further develop and test appropriate methods to assess the performance of health providers.

What is an Integrated Health care Network (IHN)?

It has been defined as a network of health providers that offers a coordinated continuum health care services to a defined population, and makes itself responsible for the expenses and health results of the population attended.



Equity-LA is financed by the European Commission.

Equity-LA is a Specific International Cooperation Action (SICA)  of the 7th framework programme (FP7): Cooperation and Health which topic is adressed to: "universal and equitable access to health care and health financing".

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