Chile has a population of over 16 million. Under the Constitution of 1980, health is considered a basic human right and it is the state’s duty to ensure that all citizens are able to exercise their right to protect their health and to live in an unpolluted environment. The Constitution recognizes a person’s right to choose whether to receive care in the public or the private health care system. The function of the Ministry of Health is to ensure free and equal access to services for the promotion, protection, and recovery of health as well as rehabilitation services following illness.
The Ministry has several aims. These are: to improve the population’s health; to ensure the continued development of the country’s health systems; to develop a better understanding of the determinants of ill-health and strengthen its national network of care.
The Ministry of Health’s overall vision is that people, families and communities will actively participate in healthier lifestyles to improve outcomes at the individual, family and community level.
Like other institutions in Chile, the Ministry of Health has been using latest technology to ensure good quality information is available and that there is transparency in its use.
Since the 1980s, geographic information systems have been used to develop thematic maps. This means that public health incidents can be mapped and location factored into assessments.
Incorporating new technologies
By incorporating InstantAtlas as a reporting tool, the Ministry of Health can now easily create comprehensive interactive and thematic health maps that bring the data to life. Furthermore, the data can be easily understood by a number of different audiences from experts to non-professionals.
Making the project work
The Ministry of Health started using InstantAtlas in 2007 to present epidemiological data relating to different illnesses. These reports are published on the Epidemiology Department’s website and be accessed by anyone with an interest in the data. The atlases make it possible to see which region has the highest number of people affected and establish those areas which are most likely to be affected by a certain illness. One further advantage is that it is possible to compare individual regions with each other and with the national average.
– data visualization software has made it possible to show three variables at the same time
– the atlases can be understood by many different audiences from professionals to those with a passing interest is epidemics
– the Ministry of Health is seen as an innovator in the usage of new technologies in order to present data
– inter-regional comparisons can now be made
View our dedicated page for other examples of use of InstantAtlas for the spread of H1N1 Swine Flu