Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2006 (Revised December 2010)

Ancora: A Private University Providing Healthcare for the Poor

by Michael Chu, Mladen Koljatic and Monica Silva


Project Ancora signals the entry of the private sector in primary health care for the poor in Chile. On a commercial basis, it seeks to deliver a more effective, efficient, and user-friendly primary health care model than the prevailing public health system, while operating under the same revenue structure (per capita payments from the Ministry of Health). A highly visible landmark initiative of the Medical School of the Catholic University, success would prove that quality health care is possible for the poor at no additional cost, serving as a national model. Failure, on the other hand, would have high institutional costs. Dr. Joaquin Montero, the head of Ancora and its intellectual father, must address the controversial project in the context of a presidential election. Reviews the current Chilean health care model for the poor and the political realities surrounding it. As the seed money for Ancora comes from one single individual, it also illustrates an example of thoughtful philanthropy.

Keywords: Private Sector; Giving and Philanthropy; Government and Politics; Health Care and Treatment; Business and Government Relations; Social Enterprise; Poverty; Chile;


Chu, Michael, Mladen Koljatic, and Monica Silva. "Ancora: A Private University Providing Healthcare for the Poor." Harvard Business School Case 306-088, February 2006. (Revised December 2010.)