Health in Brazil

Health in Brazil

Health in Brazil is affected by a number of factors including climate, healthcare, and pollution. The country is home to a number of international health organizations, such as the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information, and the Edumed Institute for Education in Medicine and Health.

According to the Brazilian Government, the most serious health problems are;: [Ministério do Planejamento website, [ "Saúde" (fact sheet, 2002)] , retrieved 12 June 2007.]
* Childhood mortality: about 2.51% of childhood mortality, reaching 3.77% in the northeast region.
* Motherhood mortality: about 73.1 deaths per 100,000 born children in 2002.
* Mortality by non-transmissible illness: 151.7 deaths per 100,000 habitants caused by heart and circulatory diseases, along with 72.7 deaths per 100,000 habitants caused by cancer.
* Mortality caused by external causes (transportation, violence and suicide): 71.7 deaths per 100,000 habitants (14.9% of all deaths in the country), reaching 82.3 deaths in the southeast region.Brazilian health system is composed of a large public, government managed system, the SUS (Sistema Único de Saúde) , which serves the majority of the population, and a private sector, managed by health insurance funds and private entrepreneurs.
The public health system, SUS, was established in 1988 by the Brazilian Constitution, and sits on 3 basic principles of universality, comprehensiveness and equity. Universality states that all citizens must have access to health care services, without any form of discrimination, regarding skin color, income, social status, gender or any other variable. Comprehensiveness(integralidade) states that citizen's health is the result of multiple variables, including employment, income, access to land, sanitation services, access and quality of health services, education, psychic, social and family conditions, and are entitled to full and complete health care, comprising prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. Equity states that health policies should be oriented towards the reduction of inequalities between population groups and individuals, being the most needed the ones for whom policies should be first directed. SUS has also guidelines for its implementation, the most peculiar being popular participation, which defines that all policies are to be planned and supervised directly by the population, through local, city, state and national health councils en conferences. This is regarded as a very advanced form of direct democracy and has established the guidelines for many similar initiatives in sectors other than health all over Brazilian society.
The public system is still grossly underfunded and lacking quality, though that's been improving greatly in the last few years. Important legal issues, such as the regulation of Constitutional Amendment 29, are expected to minimize some of those problems.
Private Health Insurance is widely available in Brazil and may be purchased on an individual-basis or obtained as a work benefit (major employers usually offer private health insurance benefits). Public health care is still accessible for those who choose to obtain private health insurance. As of March, 2007, more than 37 million Brazilians had some sort of private health insurance [ [ ANS - Agência Nacional de Saúde Suplementar - ANS TABNET] ] .


See also

* HIV/AIDS in Brazil
* Brazil
* Education in Brazil
* Demography of Brazil

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