Brazil and United States Healthcare

Topics: Universal health care, Health care, Health economics Pages: 11 (2227 words) Published: September 21, 2014


A Comparative Analysis of Health Care Professionals in Brazil to Those in the United States

Abstract
The topic of health care has become the most pressing and ongoing debates for not only the United States but also many other nations around the world. Many countries have implemented a universal health coverage for years with effective results. While the United States steps into a immature national health care program, the government can observe Brazil’s health care system to learn valuable lessons. The type of health care system a country chooses has a major effect on the country’s health care professionals. While comparing the health care professionals of the United States and Brazil, many similarities can be seen; however, the United States can learn many lessons from Brazil. A Comparative Analysis of Health Care Professionals in Brazil to Those in the United States

The latest topic in the United States today, is the subject of healthcare reform in the United States. With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012, Americans everywhere have formed an opinion about the new national health care system—most opinions viewing the national system as negative. However, several developed nations similar to the United States have partaken in a national health care system for years. The large nation of Brazil has utilized a national health system since 1923, and has seen both positives and negatives. Many Americans see the supply and demand of health care professionals as a potential threat to the future of the ACA and the United States as a whole—a definite issue that has affected Brazil. In Brazil, health care is viewed as a constitutional right being offered by private and government organizations and is an obligation of the state. Through the Unified Health System (SUS), public health care is universal and provided free of charge to all Brazilian permanent residents. In addition to the United Health System, Brazilians also have private based health insurance coverage which the wealthier population can usually purchase, and Brazilians can be offered health coverage by their respective employers if available. As of 2003, 174.6 million Brazilian residents receiving benefits from the SUS were documented. Of the 174.6 million, 475,699 healthcare professionals existed within Brazilian health care. In 2012, the total percentage of GDP spent on health expenditure in Brazil was at a four-year high of 9.3%. However, Brazil’s health expenditure is far lower than the United States health expenditure that spent a total of 17.9% in 2012. In Brazil the average life expectancy has been on the rise since 2000. In 2010, average Brazilian life expectancy was reported at 73.5 years with a life expectancy for men at 69.7 and for women at 77.3. The infant mortality rate in Brazil has been decreasing over the years, but is still considered high for a developed nation. Maternal mortality rate in Brazil is also decreasing in years and would be considered average compared to other countries. In an attempt to improve the national health care system in Brazil, the Brazilian government established the “Mais Medicos” program, or more doctors program, in 2013. The project was aimed to create close to 1,000 jobs for physicians to tend to patients in the 22 states that have fewer doctors than the national average—most of the states lying in the Northern region of the nation. In addition to their salaries, doctors are provided financial aid to cover housing and sustenance per municipalities of the government. The program will employ physicians temporarily while the Brazilian government looks to increase attendance to Brazilian medical schools over a short amount of time by offering substantial amounts of financial aid and increasing expenditures on medical school scholarships. Originally, the program was offered to Brazilian resident doctors only in an attempt to bring doctors from the...

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