Chilean Observatory of Public Health (OCHISAP)

School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile


The Chilean Observatory of Public Health (OCHISAP) is an informative tool aimed to support to the knowledge of the community in matters related to health, as well as the contribution of basic evidence relevant to the management and action related to health.


It seeks to promote and contribute to the community's knowledge, motivation and active participation in health-related issues. An informed and educated community on the relevant health issues can facilitate and support those strategies and actions which are oriented to the development of policies, decision making and resolution of relevant problems in health matters.


It fulfills systematic functions of analysis, monitoring and monitoring of the most relevant issues related to health in the population. For that purpose, it collects and systematizes the relevant information found in these sources, analyzes, systematizes and reports secondary information aimed at being understood by the audience, with an added analytical value.


Through its website, it makes available to all people interested in health issues of the population, that relevant national information that has been integrated and analyzed, from different types of specific information that is scattered (and not always diffused) in different national sources.


Special focus is placed on trends, level and variations of health situation and the health system, as well as main determinant factors, trends, possible gaps for a more appropriate situation, and the description of probable scenarios, challenges and prospects for further progress.


Since 2014, the Observatory has had a gradual implementation of themes and functions, aimed to become a strategic and functional center of: public health surveillance; monitoring of health systems; specialized analysis on aspects related to health policies; health alert; policy-oriented advice; and production and management of health information and evidence at the national and sub-national levels


The OCHISAP structure and organization is mainly functional and virtual, supported by the multidisciplinary contribution of various academics and other experts that contribute to its functioning, mostly belonging to the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Chile and some other related entities.





1. General objective

The objective of the Observatory is to make available to the entire community, relevant information on population health: It pursues to motivate the whole community for active participation in health-related matters and provide basic evidence and orientation regarding health policies, decision making and actions. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the preservation and improvement of the health of the population, with reduction of avoidable health inequalities.


2. Specific objectives

 a. To maintain relatively up-to-date statistical information, in support of evidence on the historical and transversal distribution of main health-related variables, including the health situation and its conditioning factors, the health sector and its response to the health needs of the population.

 b. To carry out, update and disseminate reports on the follow-up of the population's health situation, including its main conditioning factors and projections, which make it possible to configure public health surveillance.

 c. To carry out, update and disseminate reports on the monitoring of the situation of the health sector, in its various components and services provided to the different groups of the population, which allow the setting up of sector health monitoring.

 d. To make a comprehensive observation that considers the past history, the current scenario, possible future scenarios and poses achievements, challenges.

 e. To provide useful information to guide policy, management and action in matters related to the global health situation and the Chilean health system.



General functioning

The Observatory mainly applies the methodology of health situation analysis and the development of profiles of health policies and systems, together with methodologies of public health surveillance systems and health policies and systems monitoring.


The Observatory integrates (but does not replace) the results of information or monitoring of the information, monitoring and surveillance systems that already exist, such as epidemiological and public health surveillance, health situation rooms, health sector analysis, monitoring and evaluation of health systems and services. The integration of contents and functions of these systems allows the Observatory to produce a panoramic vision in an integral, coherent and solid way. Only by the absence of any relevant surveillance or monitoring system, the Observatory can assume that specific function.


The Observatory characterizes and measures the health situation and its tendencies regarding eventual achievements, challenges and priorities of action that this implies. As a reference for evaluation, the document reviews and presents various desirable levels and scenarios for the Chilean situation. The advance or desirable gradual goal in the health agenda is guided by various references; These are both normative (the agenda and government plans and strategies), the empirical reference from the situation of the most developed sector of the country (elite communes) or the level achieved in developed countries, and the international recommendations and objectives that are directly related as indirectly with the health of the countries and their various population groups.


The health and health system situation is updated, analyzed and reported periodically from an operational and strategic perspective, informed in a way that can be understood by a broad audience. In general, official information is already available and relatively updated, therefore it mainly uses secondary sources of information. The information analyzed and reported in the document has been based on official information from secondary sources. It also seeks to access existing relevant databases on information from household and annual health surveys, such as the case of hospital deaths and discharges.


For purposes of evaluation and progress gaps, the Observatory uses national and international references, either normative (as international agendas accepted by countries) or relatively optimal examples of health status achieved in the best districts of the country, and level achieved in countries with very high human development, including those of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).


Surveillance and monitoring integrated functions

1. Public health surveillance (from the population perspective). It includes epidemiological surveillance of the disease, risk factors and determinants and health sector responses of a target population.

2. Monitoring of health policies and systems (sector perspective). It includes monitoring of policies, plans, programs, actions and results.

3. Analysis related to health policies. Includes routine and specific analysis, such as intelligent unit.

4. Forecasting. It includes projections of probable future scenarios and challenges for action.

5. Advisory function. It includes specific advisory functions, as required by the authority

6. Production and dissemination of reports, information and knowledge. It includes both the systematic and also specific production of reports.



About us

The Observatory is an essentially functional and virtual-based program, whose coordination and central functioning is supported by a multidisciplinary group of academics from the School of Public Health and other Schools and Departments of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Chile, with interaction in network with other entities related to the health sector.


It has a Directory and a multidisciplinary team of experts that provide information, analysis and reports, with emphasis on public health, monitoring and surveillance, statistics, epidemiology, health management and information technology.


The central team consists of:

 • Cesar Gattini, MD. Executive Director, Doctor, Magister and Doctor in Public Health. Academic of the School of Public Health. Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile.

Roberto Alfaro MD. Content manager and Internet site. Medical specialist in physiatry and expert in website management. Academic of the Catholic University of the North.

The Observatory constitutes the Chilean branch of the Ibero-American Observatory of Health Policies and Systems and is open to the relationship and virtual cooperation with other entities such as the Association of Economists of Chile (AES-Chile).


Relevant aspects observed and reported related to health in Chile

The Observatory reviews trend and cross-sectional variations (geographical or by population groups) in two dimensions: (a) The population dimension (of demand) relative to the health situation and its relevant conditions; (b) The health sector or system dimension), with focus on social protection in health, insurance and healthcare system. The level of health registered in the population, according to the time and context in which it is analyzed, can also be considered as an expression of health or health care needs, or as a result attributable to the action of the health system (or other positive or negative conditioners).


Relevant followed and monitored topics are:


1. The general context

 • The geographical, historical and political context

Characteristics and dynamics of the population

The macroeconomic context

Global human development


2. Determinants and social protection

 • Diversity in level and social development

Economic income and poverty



Living place

Urban rurality



Wellness and social network

Social politics

Social protection system


3. The environment and human security

 • Environment and health



Deforestation and soil degradation

Climate change

Natural disasters and caused by man

Job security

Road safety


Food safety


4. The health situation

 • Health aspects and dynamics of the population

Mortality profile

Health in specific groups of the population

Main health problems

Risk and protection factors

Evolution and prospects of progress

Social and health inequality


5. Organization and structure of the health system

 • Historical development of the health system

Organizational structure

Regulatory framework, policies and plans

Organizational structure of the SNSS


6. Social protection and health insurance

 • Social protection in health

Compulsory social health insurance


ISAPRE system

Regime of Explicit Health Guarantees (GES)

Reinsurance for catastrophic illnesses

Evolution and prospects of progress


7. Health care resources

 • Financing

Providers of assistance services

Infrastructure of the SNSS

Equipment and technology


Human Resources


8. Health care

Provision of health care services

Health care in the SNSS



Documents and reports produced

Panorama and trends of health in Chile. Edition 2013

Theory, practice and challenges of PHC in Chile

Synthesis of health in Chile.

Health in Chile in the international context (LAC and OECD)

Communes of Chile according to socioeconomic level, health and human development.

Health in the Regions of Chile

Profiles of Health Services of the SNSS

Aspects related to health, in the Millennium Development Goals in Chile




Escuela de Salud Pública, Instituto de Salud Poblacional. Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile

Av. Independencia 939, Santiago, Chile. Phone (56-2) 29786532 / (56-2) 9786149

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Additional information