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Government to consolidate More Doctors Program

Health Minister Arthur Chioro announced on Tuesday (Jan 27) the priorities set by the ministry for the coming four years. During a meeting with the National Health Council, among the plans

mentioned by Chioro is the consolidation of the More Doctors Program, which brought medics from abroad to underassisted areas in Brazil, and the creation of more admission spots in medical schools, in a joint action with the Ministry of Education.

According to Chioro, the aim is to improve the quality of the country’s basic care, especially in the North, the Northeast, and the Central-West. He went on to say that the budget drawn up for the sector this year includes funds for reforming, building and expanding at least five thousand basic care units.

Another proposal brought forth by the minister is the agenda for health promotion, with measures for encouraging healthy eating habits and fighting obesity and smoking. Chioro also reiterated strategies previously announced, which aim to raise the number of natural births both in private and public hospitals.

Chioro stated that the ministry is about to tackle urgent problems, like the higher number of hospital admissions and deaths caused by traffic accidents and violence, without leaving aside endemic issues, like dengue fever, chikungunya, and malaria.

The  minister further talked about hospital care, noting that small-scale units should adopt specific policies. He called for a “de-hospitalization agenda”, which would prioritize home care over hospital stays. “Having just one model is not appropriate,” he argued.

Chioro also highlighted the need for a financing model aimed at public health care, but he denied claims he would be in favor of the return of the CPMF—the Provisional Contribution on Financial Transactions, a tax created in the 1990’s and abolished in 2007 which earmarked 0.3% of financial transactions for health care. Chioro, however, did not clearly specify which financing model he would choose. “Brazilian society will have to discuss how much financing we wish, and also its sources,” he stated.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira

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