- From: Grand Baie
- Registered: 2005-03-11
- Posts: 27891
Healthcare in Brazil
how does the healthcare system works in Brazil ? Is it efficient ?
What are the main differences between public and private sectors?
Is it recommended to purchase private health insurance in Brazil?
Thanks in advance for sharing your experience !
- Brazil Animator
- From: Macaé, Rio de Janeiro
- Registered: 2010-06-20
- Posts: 2476
Re: Healthcare in Brazil
Depending on where you are in Brazil the Public Healthcare System (SUS - Sistema Unica da Saúde) can range from very good to extremely poor. I have used SUS,in various cities, exclusively since coming to Brazil over ten years ago and really do not have much to complain about.
During that time I was hospitalized in Belo Horizonte - MG for a heart problem. I was rushed to Odilon Behrens Hospital in Belo Horizonte when I collapsed while strolling along the walkway at Lagoa da Pampulha. I woke up in an Emergency room that would rival that in any major city in the world. The treatment I received equalled the surroundings - world class all the way. I remained hospitalized for over a week and have nothing but praise for the treatment that not only I was receiving but that everyone else around me was getting as well. At first I thought I was receiving special treatment because I was a gringo, but I soon saw with my own eyes they teated everybody just as well as they were treating me. SUS payed for everything.
I have had retinal surgery and ongoing weekly eyecare for over a year at São Paulo Hospital, again all covered by SUS. The only real complaint that I have with this is that firstly one cannot book an appointment over the phone, only in person (bit of a drag), and that there is no specific appointment time so you have to show up when the clinic opens at noon and wait until your name is called. The service however, again top-notch.
I have had Emergency Dept. treatments in São Paulo, Belo Horizonte and in Porto Seguro - BA. All of these were attended with the speed that the case merited, no excessive waits. The treatment was always more than adequate. The staff were alway polite and very friendly. Being a gringo who speaks fluent Portuguese has always helped in these situations, the staff are always much more conversant and excited to meet you... they are always full of questions.
Public Health Clinics (Posto de Saúde) in São Paulo and in Belo Horizonte, despite the long waiting periods, are just fine. I have gone to various clinics over the years for minor health problems and the treatment has always been adequate. The benefit of the Public Health Clinics is that they almost always have a pharmacy and the medications that the doctors prescribe is given to the patient free of charge.
Private Hospitals and Clinics - I have only used private hospitals three times over the years. These are very expensive if you do not have a private health insurance plan.
I see news reports all the time about how bad the SUS is here in Brazil, however I have never had the slightest problem. I guess really it all depends on where you live.
The only major complaint that I have with healthcare here in Brazil is not so much with the SUS, but rather with the various levels of government. In every city where I have lived there are much needed hospitals and Emergency Clinics (UPA - Unidade de Pronto Attendimento) that have been constructed and fully equipped a long time ago and have never entered into service for various reasons, all of which are generally politically motivated. This in my mind is a crime equal murder.