Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Kate Centellas

Relational Format



Health system reform is a popular topic around the world. Politicians argue over how to effectively provide health coverage to the most people while ensuring the sustainability of the system. The debate is extremely complex and there is no general consensus on what is the best form of health provision. Due to the fact that most healthcare systems have so many different strengths and weaknesses it is difficult to study and compare which policies are working. Thus Venezuela's recent healthcare collapse provides a dramatized source for healthcare officials to study in attempt to discover what were the major causes of the health systems collapse. Venezuela also sought to implement one of the newer trends in the healthcare debate prior to its collapse, a preventative health program. This allows for health care officials to also study the possible benefits and dangers of adjusting to a new style of health provision. I study the collapse in an effort to provide insight into what factors allowed for a healthcare system to fail so extravagantly and to analyze which aspects of a preventative health system Venezuela was successfully able to implement. I found that extreme political polarization of health infrastructures and lack of health investment created a health system that was weak at its core. Venezuela sought to alleviate its issues with short-term policies that never addressed the core problems, which allowed for the issue to manifest and cause other difficulties within the healthcare system. Through this study I hope that other countries will able to successfully implement aspects of Venezuela's preventative health programs, while avoiding many of the difficulties.


A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the Croft Institute for International Studies and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.

Included in

Anthropology Commons



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