POLS 184: International Relations
Brazil is often characterized as one of the emerging ‘superpowers’. It has a high GDP, thus making it one of the best economies in the world. It utilizes a nationalized health care system that seeks to ameliorate the health care disparities that exist. This healthcare system called Unified Health System (UHS or SUS in Portuguese) has a complex network of public and private institutions. It provides health coverage covering 78.8% of the Brazilian population. By law, everyone has a right to treatment of a wide range of care from organ transplants and government own ‘people’s pharmacies’ to sexual reassignment surgery. Within this system, no one benefits more than the poor. Physicians are given incentives and are paid up to three times more to work in the most underprivileged areas of Brazil. These reforms have lowered the infant mortality to 25.8 per 1000 and have increased the life expectancy to 72.19 years. However, they are drawbacks. Offering so many resources has strained the health system. Many of Brazil’s hospital are substandard, with long waits for procedures. Obesity levels are increasing and caesarean sections rates are the highest in the world. Further, Brazil accounts for 40% of Malaria cases in the Americas. While everyone is entitled to procedures, long lines, limited resources, and technology has not prevented the large spread of infectious diseases that plague nation among other health care disparities. However, Brazil now has the opportunity to move towards an equitable, universal healthcare system as the country had once envisioned. The health expenditure percentage of the GDP stands at 9%, we believe it can be increased. Challenges we currently face are that we are attempting to fully equalize support efforts from all levels of government. We are asking for more political and technical support to help expand this system’s reach to rural population, train more physicians, obtain better technology, and a mobilization of extra budgetary financial resources. Further, strengthen Brazil’s capacity to open up more hospitals, strengthen strategies of primary care for vulnerable groups, and interventions of HIV prevention, nutrition training, and prevention of other infectious diseases. Other complaints are the long queues at hospital emergency departments, outdated technology, and scarcity of doctors along with medicine in rural areas. We should focus more spending on the Family Health Programs that immediately address health concerns. Out of the 23 billion dollars that go towards the health budget, only 2 billion is devoted to primary care. Our objectives are to reform our healthcare system rather than completely transform it. We believe that with our current economy and young population boom, we are capable of meeting the demands of increased healthcare expenditure by the federal government. Also, we have an amazing potential for biodiversity within the Amazon forest and there is an untapped potential for finding new cures to ailments. We would like the international community to become more aware of our disparities and to pressure the government to centralize our health care access.
We see ourselves potentially working with every nation. We are a country of tolerance and acceptance. Within Australia, we have notices that they have one of the highest rated universal health care systems in the world. We want to share our biodiversity and expertise within low income populations to help them. They have one of the highest obesity rates in the world and their indigenous population is must less healthy. We would like Australia to invest in our country to improve resources, but at the same time, train our physicians to become better at treating patients. Meanwhile, they can learn from our tribal populations and train with doctors here to understand how to best approach indigenous populations. Overall, we also wish to learn more about Australia’s healthcare system