OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University
Master i International Social Welfare and Health Policy
In the World 400 million people do not have access to essential health services. The rapid growth rate of the population and increasing urbanization calls for an analysis of the perceived access to health care services and the types of services offered to the low-income strata of the population in heavily urbanized area of developing countries. As an example of this, the work described in this thesis focuses on the marginal-urban area in Lima, in Perú. This is a qualitative interview-based study of 25 individuals selected as for performing informal sporadic jobs, poor and extremely poor, and living in marginalized urban areas of Lima. The aim of this study is to understand the specific right that these individuals perceive in terms of accessing the heath care service and the challenges and barriers encountered. The main findings of this thesis are: a) Despite the socio-economic status of the strata of the population analysed, they have access to public health care services. b) The quality and type of health care services they have access to is however, poor and unequal in the sense that it requires engagements and unforeseen out-of-pocket payments for certain services. c) The improvements foreseen by the reforms to the health care service in Perú has not brought a perceivable effect on the effective access to health care for the poorest. In conclusion, this work highlights the challenges of the population to effectively access the health care services offered in Perú, and pinpoints new polices the government should undertake in order to solve these challenges.