Chileans prefer nationalized healthcare and education, reveals new study

Isabel Cocker/The Santiago Times Staff

SANTIAGO – The latest section of the “Chile Dice” study, performed by the University Alberto Hurtado, was released on Monday, detailing the attitudes of Chilean citizens towards the role of government in various sectors of everyday life.

The survey has been carried out by the University in collaboration with Emol to identify the major concerns of Chilean citizens ahead of November’s election, and to compare those areas which most preoccupy the population with those which get the most attention by the press and politicians.

What is Chileans’ biggest wish?

According to this section of the study, 66.5% of the participants prefer the State to administer education, in comparison with 17.8% who wish that private companies take charge of the bureaucracy surrounding the education system.

This split is also mirrored in the pensions system, with 53.8% supporting a state-run system and 27.3% preferring a privatized arrangement.

Other sectors in which the population wish for more state intervention include transport (49.2% for versus 35.8% against) and health, in which 42.9% believe in an open system for all, whereas 37.9% support a state-run system only for the poorest sections of society.

Regarding the theme of security, 58.9% of those surveyed believe that the Police should take an active role in preventing crime, as opposed to 29.4% who would prefer the State to focus on successful rehabilitation and reinsertion of criminals into society.

Chileans are ‘financially illiterate’

However, there were also several sectors in which the population wished for less government oversight. One of these was employment, with only 19% of the respondents opting to choose a system in which the government plays a central role in providing employment. The majority of those surveyed (68.6%) instead wished for a “macroeconomic policy to encourage investment and increase employment”.

According to the conclusion to the study, “Chileans don’t have a clear idea what type of State they need”. However, “a greater proportion of citizens support a more universally present State as opposed to one only focused on certain areas”.