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ABSTRACT

Perú's population in 2015 was estimated to be approximately 31 million, 7% of which was older than 60 years; this is more than double that in 1960 when this age group represented only approximately 3% of the population.2 This change has resulted in a greater demand for rheumatologic care. The Peruvian College of Physicians’ register includes 231 active rheumatologists; this number is insufficient to provide adequate care to all patients, especially if access to health care improves over time.

Article 7 of the Peruvian Constitution guarantees the right to health for all its citizens; furthermore, the Universal Health Insurance Framework Law guarantees that all residents should have access to a minimum health care according to the Essential Health Insurance Plan; the first step toward achieving this goal in Perú, in terms of rheumatological care, is to provide complete coverage for osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and back pain; however, because the health system is fragmented and national guidelines on the treatment of these conditions are generally lacking, the care patients receive is quite fragmentary and inequitable, and it is heavily influenced by the individual’s socioeconomic status. Furthermore, more complex rheumatologic diseases are not even part of this basic menu. As a corollary, the access to advanced therapies (biologicals) is quite uneven among Peruvians (vide infra).

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