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Anales de la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas (Asunción)

Print version ISSN 1816-8949


GIMENEZ CABALLERO, Edgar et al. Factors that limit the decentralization of the National health system of Paraguay. An. Fac. Cienc. Méd. (Asunción) [online]. 2019, vol.52, n.2, pp.39-48. ISSN 1816-8949.


Decentralization has been a state policy in Paraguay since the promulgation of both the National Constitution in 1992 and the law of the National Health System in 1996. Although the legal framework is favorable, the process is incipient and it’s stagnating.


of this article is to describe the importance of certain political, legal, institutional, financial and technical factors as limitations of the health decentralization in Paraguay.

Material and Methods:

a poll was applied to 511 key informants selected for convenience to value their perceptions about 8 identified factors through interviews. They answered using an ordinal scale from 1 to 4 referring to how critical these limiting factors are to them. Was calculated a resultant for every factor and was categorized as minimum, incipient, moderate, and maximum. First, exploratory interviews were conducted to identify these factors.


about perceptions of the surveyed demonstrate that inadequate legal framework is a moderate determinant (3 from the scale) with 81.0% while others are evaluated as maximums (4 from the scale); reluctance to delegate authority 81.7%; limited technical capacity 84.7%; limited access to technology 85.4%; limited management capacity 86.6%; political affinity 87.9%; excessive bureaucracy 90.9% and insufficient budget 92.7%.


the fact that health decentralization has advance poorly is due to a set of factors, some more critical than others, that should be considered in sectoral policies.

Keywords : Decentralization; health system; health councils; limiting factors..

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