Using Regulatory Reform to move from Markets to Rights in Chile’s Health and Education Sectors

Since the 1980s Chile’s regulatory framework encourages access to private healthcare and school providers, while the public sector has kept a subsidiary role. However, private providers are mainly accessible to those able to pay, while most Chileans either remain in the under-resourced public sector or incur in debt. Regulatory agencies are driven by market-based goals, largely focused on providing public information for choosing better hospitals/schools, with limited powers for promoting equal access and quality. This paper explains how these regulatory areas work and proposes that, in the aftermath of the new constitution, effectively implementing social rights such as health and education will require regulatory institutions to adopt redistributive-oriented aims. Adequate regulations in the areas of allocation and priority setting of services, affordability, and quality service delivery, are suggested as criteria for implementing a rights-based approach at the institutional level.