¡Hola! Today was very exciting for us as medical students because we got to go visit one of the oldest medical schools in the Americas called Facultad de Medicina de San Fernando, founded in the mid-1800’s. When we arrived we were greeted by Dr. Juan Pedro Matzumura Kasano, Deputy Dean of Research and Postgraduate of the faculty and multiple other faculty. We were given a beautiful tour and some very interesting lectures. The lectures were very enriching on the health and insurance systems in Peru which are rapidly changing due to the economic growth Peru is currently experiencing, along the coast especially. As of now, the Peruvian government is one of the least invested in public healthcare compared to other Hispanic countries and the US but that is changing due to shifts in population dynamics and demographics: the population is getting younger but people are also having fewer children and investing more in education and business. This trend was especially interesting when accounting for the discrepancy based on geography which was especially evident regarding access to healthcare and basic technology/electricity. The Amazonian and rural inland regions are the most vulnerable to limited healthcare and insurance options while the coastal populations are experiencing newer choices and better access to advances in medicine. This seems to be largely because the coastal cities are the financial axis on which Peru’s economy is poised, however they did mention that the rural communities are following in a similar direction as well, just more slowly. I also found it interesting that the most common cause of morbidity/mortality in Peru was due to neuropsychiatric reasons and the incidence of diabetes and heart disease was far lower on the scale than the US. Thanks for reading!
Caroline Trippel – 8/14