Over the last several decades, Costa Rica has achieved significant successes in primary health care with a model that ensures all people have access to high quality, comprehensive, and affordable care. Since 2015, Ariadne Labs Primary Health Care team has cultivated a partnership with the Costa Rican government health system to better understand the country’s journey to achieving their universal primary health care model.
In collaboration with our Costa Rican colleagues, the team has developed the following resources to document the path that Costa Rica followed and to provide lessons for countries around the world striving to implement high quality primary health care that meets the diverse needs of their populations.
Costa Rica’s primary health care success and Ariadne Labs collaboration featured in Q&A with Exemplars in Global Health
Exemplars in Global Health talk with Hannah Ratcliffe, Ariadne Labs’ former associate director of research for PHC, and Dr. Madeline Pesec, a PHC research assistant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, about their research on the Costa Rican system and what lessons it could hold for other countries.SEE ALL RESOURCES
- Building a Thriving Primary Health Care System: The Story of Costa Rica – A detailed case study describing the history of primary health care system strengthening in Costa Rica
- Comprehensive Primary Health Care Reform in Costa Rica – A case study published in collaboration with the World Health Organization describing primary health care in Costa Rica
- What Does Community-Oriented Primary Health Care Look Like? Lessons from Costa Rica – A case study published in collaboration with the Commonwealth Fund on what other nations, like the United States, can learn from Costa Rica’s primary health care system
- Primary Health Care That Works: The Costa Rican Experience, Health Affairs
The Primary Health Care team examines what has made Costa Rica’s health care reforms successful, and what lessons other countries can learn from their experience.
- Strengthening Data Collection and Use for Quality Improvement in Primary Care: The Case of Costa Rica, Health Policy & Planning
This paper explores how data can be used to make decisions around ensuring quality and improving the delivery of primary health care.
- Implementing Sustainable Primary Healthcare Reforms: Strategies from Costa Rica, BMJ Global Health
An in-depth analysis of Costa Rica’s implementation strategies offers tangible lessons for other countries working to strengthen primary health care.
- The 5S-5M-5C Schematic: Transforming Primary Care Inputs to Outcomes in Low-income and Middle-income Countries, BMJ
This paper details the mechanisms and system-level functions required to transform outcomes for primary care clinical systems.
- Costa Rica’s health success due to PHC – not because it’s a ‘crazy, magical place’, Exemplars in Global Health
- Costa Ricans Live Longer Than Us. What’s the Secret?, The New Yorker
- An Ariadne Labs video describes the structure of the Costa Rican system
- Video Interview with Asaf Bitton: The Promise of Primary Care, Project Syndicate
- What Happens When Primary Care is Universal?, Project Syndicate (subscription required)
Learn more about how the Costa Rican model works in a short video developed by Ariadne Labs for the Primary Health Care Performance Initiative.