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Ministry of Health

María Begoña Yarza Sáez


Physician-Surgeon. Specialist in Pediatrics. Born on February 20, 1964, in the city of Rengo, O’Higgins Region. When she was 10 years old, after the coup d’etat of 1973, she and her family went into exile abroad. They settled in Cuba, where she lived until 1988. In Cuba, Dr. Yarza completed her primary and secondary studies then studied medicine at the Universidad de La Habana.

She returned to Chile in 1988 and validated her studies at the Universidad de Chile, earning the qualification of physician-surgeon in 1991, specializing in pediatrics. Her professional development led her to complete a diploma in public management at the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez.

She has a master’s in public health from Universidad Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona (Spain), where she also obtained her doctorate.

In her professional and academic career, she has worked as assistant medical director of Hospital Clínico San Borja-Arriarán from July 2004 to August 2008; head of the Social Services Unit in the Hospital Department of the Health Ministry from 2008-2009; and director of the Hospital Dr. Exequiel González Cortés from July 2009 to July 2018. She also served as director of the Servicio de Salud Metropolitano Sur (South Metropolitan Health Service) in 2010 and 2011.

Since 2016, she has been the director of the Academic Committee of the Sociedad Chilena de Calidad Asistencial.

She also was director of social services quality and management at the Clínica Santa María.

 In addition to her directorships, from 1996 to 2009 Dr. Yarza had a distinguished academic career in the Faculty of Medicine of the Universidad de Chile. Since 2009, she also has been performing her academic duties in the Faculty of Medicine at the Universidad Diego Portales.

She also participated in the Economy Ministry’s National Productivity Commission (CNP), as a consultant on the study “Eficiencia en pabellones y priorización de pacientes para cirugía electiva” (Operating theater efficiency and patient prioritization for elective surgery).

Apart from her professional and academic labors, she has played a prominent role in the Chilean Medical Association, serving in its Labor Department. Because of her work, she was honored with a professional achievement award by the Medical Association in 2017.

She was working in the Project Management Department of the South Metropolitan Health Service when she received the call from President Boric to join the cabinet as Health Minister.

Cristóbal Cuadrado's portrait

Cristóbal Cuadrado


Undersecretary Cuadrado has a degree in medicine from the Universidad de Chile as well as a master’s and doctorate in public health from the same institution. As an academic, he has worked as a researcher at the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York (UK) and as assistant professor in the School of Public Health at the Universidad de Chile.

His academic work has focused on matters related to the economics of preventing non-transmissible diseases, health economic assessment, healthy policy impact assessment, drug access policy, and decision-making processes and evidence use in public policy.

He has been an advisor and consultant to the Chilean Health Ministry, the Pan-American Health Organization, and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. He has also served on various public policy expert committees and played a leading role in the conceptualization, design, and implementation of a structural proposal for a Universal Health Fund.

He was chair of the Public Policy and Research Department at the Chilean Medical Association.

He is an active member of the Revolución Democrática political party and a board member of Rumbo Colectivo.

Fernando Araos Dattoli's portrait

Fernando Araos Dattoli


Undersecretary Araos is a physician-surgeon with studies in public health and health organization management both in Chile and abroad. He holds a master’s in public health and health management from the Universidad de Granada (Spain) and a master’s in health management from the Universidad del Desarrollo (Chile).

With more than 10 years dedicated primarily to public health, he has led a series of organizations, is experienced in practicing and teaching medicine, and has held board positions in professional associations, hospitals, clinics, and emergency services.

He began his career at Hospital Sótero del Río in 2007, working ad honorem as an intern until 2010. He then worked as a doctor at Clínica Consan for three years, helping to introduce innovations to care models for patients with complex wounds and ulcers. At the same time, he continued his work in the public sphere as head of the Home Hospitalization Unit of Hospital San Borja Arriarán from 2012 to 2014, and as head of the Care Demand Management Department and as assistant director of the Adult Medicine Unit at the same hospital.

From 2015 to 2017, he served as Director of SAMU emergency services in the Metropolitan Region. Before being appointed undersecretary, he was serving as technical secretary of the Public Health Department at the Chilean Medical Association and as physician advisory on life cycle and integrated health networks at the South-East Metropolitan Health Service, where he managed the care program for seniors in the network.

His accomplishments include achieving administrative independence for SAMU Metropolitano, and the modernization of infrastructure, technology, and staffing at the Call Center and Early Warning System, which improved people’s access to SAMU emergency services.

At the Hospital San Borja Arriarán he led improvements in medical scheduling and standardization of waiting lists and bed management, and directed the launch of the home hospitalization program, which increased efficiency and therefore led to improved care management.