Regionalism and Well-Being: A Critical Assessment of the Central American Regional Strategy for Health

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UNU Insitute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies
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UNU-CRIS Working Papers
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There is no slowdown in the pace towards regional integration to facilitate and strengthen political and economic relations. Whether abroad or closer to home, cooperation amongst a group of countries will inevitably enhance their negotiating power with third parties and gain status in the international system. Central America has been attempting to integrate politically and economically on and off for almost two hundred years, and attempts are once again regaining momentum. The region is now confronted with potentially opposing agendas, weak institutionalization of regional bodies, an unorganized shared vision and a complex if not convolute national assimilation of regional agreements. This paper will focus mainly on the most recent regional health document which is the Health Plan for Central America and the Dominican Republic 2010-2015 (HPCA) as well as its two complementary documents; the Health Regional Policy of SICA 2015-2022 (HRP) and the Health Agenda of Central America and the Dominican Republic 2009-2018 (HACA). The main objective of this working paper is to discern whether the involvement of officials in these regional strategies gives rise to increased committed from authorities in improving national health systems and by extension, tangible results in standards of care and quality of life. Moreover, the paper seeks to examine the role SICA plays in national policy formation, and understand the political dynamics among the countries and SICA.

Regionalism, Central America, well-being, Health strategies, SICA.