The Hon. Dr. Alfredo Palacio

Former President of the ICD Advisory Board (2010-2014)

Former President of Ecuador


(Please find the biography in spanish at

His father was the famous Ecuadorian sculptor Alfredo Palacio, author of the Liberal Revolution monument, with the figure of Eloy Alfaro, which rises in the city of Guayaquil, recently moved near the brook of the Guayas River at the entrance to the city by the Rafael Mendoza Avilés bridge.


He attended the elementary school Instituto Particular Abdón Calderón and the high school San José La Salle in the city of Guayaquil. Palacio graduated as a Doctor in Medicine from the University of Guayaquil in 1967, subsequently specializing in cardiology. He has published scientific works in his areas of expertise, and in the fields of science, culture and politics.

Professional Practice

Practicing cardiologist. His office is located at the "INCAP" (National Institute of Cardiology Alfredo Palacio), founded by himself in 1984. The address is Ciudadela. Kennedy Norte Mz. 404 Solar 15 (behind Expoplaza)

Dr. Alfredo Palacio has received numerous awards from different institutions: the House of Ecuadorian Culture, the Ecuadorian Medical Federation, the American Medical Association, the Municipalities of Guayaquil, Quito and other cities of the Republic, the Ministry of National Defense (Atahualpa Medal of Merit in the Grade of Commander and the Grade of Grand Cross), the Ecuador's Civil Defense and the National Government.


The National Council of Higher Education "CONESUP" awarded the Decoration "EDUCATIONAL MERIT" and a certificate of appreciation to Dr. Alfredo Palacio for his outstanding academic and political career in benefit of the Ecuadorian Society and his contribution to the Ecuadorian and international scientific community.

San Francisco de Quito, October 5, 2009

The Association of Journalists "Guayaquil" declares Doctor Alfredo Palacio as "PERSONAGE OF OCTOBER". This title is awarded to prominent personalities from Guayaquil who have served Guayaquil and the Nation.

Guayaquil, October 6, 2009

On Monday, October 5, Dr. Alfredo Palacio was awarded the Decoration "EDUCATIONAL MERIT" at the UEES Auditorium. The decoration was presented by Gustavo Vega, President of CONESUP.

Biographical summary

Dr. Alfredo Palacio assumed the presidency of the Republic of Ecuador on April 20, 2005, after serving as Vice President for more than two years. Since then, Dr. Palacio has led efforts to launch the social, economic and political transformation of the Republic. In the field of health he started the reform and universal coverage for all Ecuadorians with participation of stakeholders in the sector.

In his book "Health, everybody's right" (published in Spanish, Quechua and English) he promotes the Universal Assurance Program to improve the quality of life of the Ecuadorian population. The book analyzes the model of health services, the role of science, technology and pharmaceutical agents in the program, with special emphasis on intellectual property and globalization.

As President of the Republic, he created the Secretariat of the Millennium Development Goals in order to meet the targets of the United Nations Millennium Declaration, implementing the Universal Health Insurance in the major cities of Ecuador .

Social policy is the linchpin of the administration of President Palacio. He recovered resources from oil exploitation and set them aside for economic policy, to support the long-term social investment in health, education and productive reactivation.

Dr. Palacio has gained considerable experience over his 39-year career, spanning leadership positions in all major aspects of public health and academia: teaching, patient care, research, institutional development, international cooperation and national public service.

Dr. Palacio served as Regional Director of the Social Security Institute of Ecuador, IESS, (1994) and as Minister of Health (1994-1996) under the Presidency of Sixto Durán Ballén. During those years he implemented several programs to alleviate the disease burden caused by common infections, especially those affecting the poor, and to tackle the increase of non-contagious diseases and injuries that affect the whole population.

As Minister of Health, he started the modernization of health system in Ecuador, consolidating a process of decentralization from SILOS (Local Health Systems), he launched an extensive program of training for doctors working in the public health system, and promoted the Medical Emergency System, from prehospital care, and promoted safe water systems and the enrichment fortification of staple foods for public consumption.

Between 1988 and 1992, Dr. Palacio was vice president of the National Council of Science and Technology, CONACYT, an independent nongovernmental organization that promotes research in academic and nonacademic areas. He was also Director of the National Institute of Cardiology 'Alfredo Palacio', INCAP (1984-2003), which has become a major education and research center in cardiology in the developing world.

In addition to his executive positions, Dr. Palacio has had a long academic career as professor of internal medicine, cardiology and public health at the University of Guayaquil (1975-1988). Among his publications there are monographs, articles published in academic journals and presentations at international scientific conferences. Dr. Palacio is a member of 19 scientific and professional national and international associations.

His experience has earned him a: Award of the American Medical Association; "Eugenio Espejo Prize" Municipality of Quito; Scientific Merit Award Municipality of Guayaquil; the decorations "Atahualpa Merit" in rank of Commander, Ministry of National Defense; "Recognition of Merit" Ecuadorian National Civil Defense; "Recognition of Merit " in the rank of Grand Cross, President of the Republic.

Dr. Alfredo Palacio obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Guayaquil. Then he followed specialized courses in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, he was a Fellow of Cardiology at Barnes Hospital of the Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Palacio was born in Guayaquil on the 22nd of January 1939. He married Maria Beatriz Paret and has four children: Ana, Linka, Alfredo and Carola, who are very committed to support his mission and his role as a public health leader.

Ana, who is also a doctor, is a professor of Medicine at the University of Miami, as well as his two sons-in-law Leonardo Tamariz and Juan Pablo Zambrano.