Example Of The Brazilian Healthcare System Term Paper
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Healthcare systems are some of the most imperative social systems that support the well-being of a nation or a society (Swayne et al, 13). The concept of a national healthcare system basically involves infrastructures, efforts, policies, facilities as well as knowledge and skills applied to provide healthcare services to a specific population. In most cases, healthcare systems are governed and managed by three main bodies i.e. governments, private organizations as well as non-governmental organizations (Swayne et al, 14). Over the years, healthcare systems have undergone major transformations, especially those facilitated by the occurrence of technological advancements as well as research and innovation. It is important to acknowledge the fact that healthcare systems vary from one nation or state to another; this is mainly caused by managerial techniques and systems implemented by respective governing bodies. This paper will focus on the Brazilian healthcare system, basically highlighting and discussing some of its core features. It will also provide a comparison of the Brazilian health care system indicating similarities and differences that they exhibit. The other main issue that will be covered in this paper is an assessment of the Brazilian healthcare system, noting its performance in relation to provision of healthcare services to the Brazilian population. Consequently, the discussion will explore the strongest and weakest aspects of the Brazilian healthcare system that have led to its success and failures respectively.
Brazil has been considered a nation of continental dimensions characterized by a inequalities in social and regional issues (Dourado et al, 578). There are three main dimensions of the Brazilian healthcare system; government funded, private sector and non-governmental funded healthcare services. Government funded healthcare services are basically supported by the central government of Brazil. They are mainly public healthcare service providers such as; government hospitals, municipal hospitals as well as other public health services. These services are accessible to any legal Brazilian citizen; legal foreigners in Brazil also have the right to access free healthcare service in any public clinic or hospital (Dourado et al, 579). However, for a foreigner to access these healthcare services, he/she has to produce an identification card, which could be a Brazilian Identification card or a SUS card.
Government supported hospitals and clinics are usually crowded although, they have been providing appropriate and effective healthcare services. Approximately seventy percent of the Brazilian populace use public health services owing to the fact that they are offered on a free basis (Pinto et al, e69). The Federal government of Brazil, through the Ministry of Health is responsible for overseeing the implementation of various health programs for instance: The Farmacia Popular program that has been implemented with an aim of ensuring that basic healthcare resources i.e. drugs are readily available in various public healthcare facilities. The Brazilian Healthcare System is also composed of a Private Medical Service providers or the Private Sector. Consequently, there are also non-governmental organizations that offer medical service to the Brazilian Populace for instance: Red Cross and the Med Center among others. These are three main components of the Brazilian Healthcare system (Pinto et al, e71).
In 1988, a movement of activists and medical practitioners advocated for the creation of The Brazilian Unified Healthcare System also referred as “Sistema Único de Saúde” (SUS). The SUS or the Brazilian Unified Healthcare System is basically a collection of supplemental healthcare systems, public and private healthcare systems. The development of was triggered by a desire to facilitate the provision of equal healthcare services to the entire Brazilian population. The Unified Brazilian Healthcare System has three major characteristics; the first characteristic is that it offers a definition of comprehensive, curative and preventive care as a fundamental right to the over 200 million Brazilian populace (Paim et al, 1779). This has made the Brazilian Unified Healthcare System one of the biggest healthcare systems in the world. Additionally, SUS places emphasis on decentralized aspect of management and the provision of healthcare in a manner that incorporates community participation in all levels and stages of administration (Paim, 1781). Consequently, the SUS operates in a manner that allows the participation of the public, private and non-governmental sectors as a ways of complementing healthcare service provision for the large Brazilian population.
Structure of the Brazilian and the US Healthcare System
As aforementioned, the Brazilian Healthcare System is composed on three main organs or bodies. The first body is the Government supported healthcare services or what is referred as Public healthcare services. These are supported by the Federal government of Brazil, through the Ministry of Health, which is currently headed by Hon. Arthur Chioro. Brazilian Ministry of Health receives financial and technical support from the federal government, which is then channeled to respective public healthcare facilities i.e. clinics, dispensaries as well as public hospitals. Additionally, Brazilian Ministry of Health is responsible for formulation and implementation of programs geared towards improving healthcare service provision i.e. the Farmacia Popular program, which has enhanced the accessibility of healthcare resources in various public healthcare centers. The other component of the Brazilian Healthcare structure is the private sector; the private sector involves the provision of healthcare services to the Brazilian populace through private medical experts. There are also the non-governmental organizations such the Red Cross society, which are responsible for the provision of medical service the general population of Brazil most of their services are usually provided on a free basis. The non-governmental health sector in Brazil has also played a significant role in performing various researches geared towards provision of certain solutions to identified health challenges. Moreover, non-governmental healthcare systems also provide support i.e. financial support to various healthcare service provision efforts performed by the public hospitals.
The Brazilian healthcare system is also made up of a unifying body, the SUS, which brings together stakeholders within the healthcare system. It creates a platform for the participation of the local communities to facilitate the provision of healthcare services in Brazil. Additionally, through the SUS, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and the public sector are able to work in partnerships for purposes of providing healthcare services to the Brazilian Populace. This partnership has also enhanced a proper coordination between the health service care providers in Brazil through the adoption of the SUS Card, which allows a patient or the Brazilian populace to seek medical services from private, non-governmental and public health facilities.
Just like Brazil, the United States healthcare system is provided by various independent organs or bodies. Twenty one percent of healthcare services in the United States is provided by government supported healthcare facilities or public healthcare services. Approximately 58% of healthcare services in the United States are provided by the private sector owned by individuals, organizations or groups of medical practitioners. On the other hand, the United Healthcare system is composed on non-profit organizations such as CDC, WHO and other international organs that basically provide healthcare research services and accounts for approximately 21% of the healthcare services offered in the United States (Pinto et al, 943).
Similarly, the process if overseeing healthcare services provision in the United States is mainly performed by the Department of Health and Human Services, which is a governmental department. This department is also responsible for formulation and implementation of healthcare policies that govern healthcare service provision by the public, private and non-governmental sector. Just like the Brazilian Ministry of Health, the United States Department of Health and Human Services receives funds from the Federal Government on annual basis for purposes of supporting public healthcare services i.e. research, provision of drugs and other resources et cetera.
The Brazilian Ministry of Health has implemented certain programs such as the Farmacia Popular to enhance the provision and access of healthcare services among the Brazilian populace. Within the United States Healthcare systems, there are also certain programs that have been implemented to enhance the process of providing healthcare services, these programs include: The Medicaid; it is a social care program that was introduced to enhance the provision and access of healthcare services among families of low incomes as well as individuals who have low incomes in the United States (Davis and Squires, 12). The Medicare is also another healthcare program that has been implemented by the United States Government through the Department of Health and Human Services; it basically ensures that access of health insurance programs to the American Populace especially those that are aged 65 years and above. This program also ensures that young people, people and people with disabilities have the opportunity to access health insurance programs or services. There is also the Children Insurance Program or the CHIP; it was implemented to ensure that children whose families have a modest income, but cannot benefit from the Medicare are provided with appropriate insurance coverage (Davis and Squires, 13). Another Similarity between the United States and the Brazilian Healthcare System is the fact that both systems allow the participation of various stakeholders for instance: Non-governmental organizations and the participation of the private sector as well as local communities (Davis and Squires, 13).
As aforementioned, Brazil has a unified healthcare system under the Brazilian Unified Healthcare System or SUS. This unification basically brings together, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, public sector and local communities for purposes of enhancing healthcare service provision among the Brazilian populace. The SUS has enhanced access to healthcare services to the entire Brazilian population. Access of healthcare services under the SUS has been achieved through the provision of the SUS card, which allows Brazilians to seek healthcare services from practitioners of their choice. Private healthcare service providers have also played a significant role in providing healthcare services to approximately 25% of the Brazilian populace. Some of the services offered by the Private sector include: Provision of insurance plans, healthcare services as well as healthcare research (Swayne et al, 17).
The Brazilian government, through the Ministry of Health has also implemented programs such as the Farmcia Popular, with an aim of increasing resource availability such as drugs in various healthcare facilities. Additionally, in 2009, the Ministry of Health in Brazil introduced the Family Health Program, which has covered up to 100 million Brazilians up to date. This program has been associated with reduction of child mortality especially in various rural regions (Swayne et al, 17).
The Brazilian Healthcare system has also faced several challenges one of them being failure of the government to align health expenditure with the specific needs of the population. This has impacted the management and performance of the national healthcare systems.
Strongest and Weakest Points of the Brazilian Healthcare System
Personally, I believe that that Unification of the Brazilian Healthcare System under the Brazilian Unified Healthcare is one of the strongest points of the Brazilian Healthcare system. This unification has brought together stakeholders i.e. local communities, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, the public healthcare practitioners. I believe that this is an appropriate strategy as it creates a platform for different stakeholders to create ideas, exchange ideas and share resources geared towards improving healthcare service provision. Decentralization of the Brazilian healthcare system from the Federal government to the Ministry of Health, which works in partnership with the private sector, local communities and non-governmental organizations is also another strongest point of the Brazilian Healthcare system. This has facilitated decision-making in regard to provision of healthcare service by allowing the participating of multiple stakeholders.
However, failure to align healthcare spending with the needs of the Brazilian populace is one of the weakest points of this healthcare system. This challenge has created a scenario where the Brazilian government through the Ministry of Health fails to provide basic healthcare needs that meet the demands of the population. It has been characterized by poor resource allocation strategies, leading to improper use of healthcare resources.
Davis, K., K. Stremikis, and D. Squires. "Mirror, mirror on the wall: how the performance of the US healthcare system compares internationally. The Commonwealth Fund." (2014).
Dourado, Ines, et al. "Trends in primary health care-sensitive conditions in Brazil: the role of the Family Health Program (Project ICSAP-Brazil)." Medical care 49.6 (2011): 577-584.
Macinko, James, and Maria Fernanda Lima-Costa. "Horizontal equity in health care utilization in Brazil, 1998–2008." Int J Equity Health 11.1 (2012): 33.
Paim, Jairnilson, et al. "The Brazilian health system: history, advances, and challenges." The Lancet 377.9779 (2011): 1778-1797.
Pinto, Rogério M., et al. "Primary care and public health services integration in Brazil’s unified health system." American journal of public health 102.11 (2012): e69-e76.
Pinto et al. "Community health workers in Brazil’s unified health system: a framework of their praxis and contributions to patient health behaviors." Social science & medicine 74.6 (2014): 940-947.
Swayne, L et al. Strategic management of health care organizations. John Wiley & Sons, 2012.
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