Going Beyond

COVID-19 and Healthcare in
Latin America and the Caribbean


Beyond Normal: Reaching for Better Health 
and Health Care Despite the Pandemic

In the pandemic’s early months, it was not unusual to hear people talk about “returning to normal” in a post-pandemic time. Later, as the gravity of the crisis became clearer, the term “new normal” gained usage. Both terms suggest that the old normal was okay. It wasn’t—particularly for the health care systems of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Despite progress in the past few decades, many health care systems in the region are inequitable and inefficient and frequently offer care of insufficient quality. 

What the region’s health care systems need today is a vision of how to go beyond normal. How can countries use the opportunities generated by this global crisis to break out of conventional constraints, to undertake reforms with greater urgency, and to adopt cultures of practice that are oriented toward achieving results? To go beyond normal, we must first understand the problems that were apparent before the crisis and what has happened in these past two challenging years.