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  • 1 A Colonia Insurgentes Mixcoac Delegación Benito Juárez Hospital General de México Algeciras 43 03920 México DF Mexico Algeciras 43 03920 México DF Mexico
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Abstract  

Health systems are reforming their structures and services world-wide. Both, developed and developing countries are searching for better organisation and functioning schemes of their health systems. The social service delivery system in developing countries is severely limited in its ability to respond and adjust to changing circumstances by institutional, organisational, and structural factors. As a result, different countries of the Latin American and Caribbean regions have developed a diversity of reform models. While international agencies and non-government academic organisations have been funding some of the health system reform initiatives among developing countries, no clear picture exists as to the results or impact of this support. Indicators related to knowledge administration, published results or shared experiences are needed to establish a diagnosis of the existing situation and to support decision making processes in terms of policy and research funding. This work presents the results of a bibliometric and webometric analysis on the production and distribution of the literature generated on health system reforms, as produced in or about Latin America and the Caribbean, for the period 1980–1999. Results indicated the limitations and low quality of local and regional databases to represent the productivity in the field. Data was obtained regarding the patterns of production and distribution of documents over time; the main countries and areas involved in health system reform processes; and the institutions behind the initiatives. The implications of the results derived from this research to health policy makers, researchers, librarians, database producers, and information scientists are discussed by the author.