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Foyer Global Health covers expats’ health in Brazil who are seeking for a private health insurance solution tailored to their needs.
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Ready to live in the heart of a tropical paradise where lush forests and pristine beaches sway to the beat of the bossa nova? With its dynamic economy, rich cultural heritage and natural wonders, Brazil is a favourite destination for expats dreaming of a tropical life.
When it comes to Brazil’s healthcare system, you will want to know how it works. What is the equality, accessibility, and affordability of healthcare in Brazil? What is the best health insurance for expatriates?
The following information is designed to help you prepare for your new life with peace of mind.
Brazil’s public healthcare system is universal, free but with limited efficiency
Brazil’s unified public health system, called Sistema Unico de Saude (SUS), is operated by the government and financed by taxpayers. All its medical services, available in a network of public and private facilities under contract with the government, are universal and freely accessible to all the country’s residents, including expatriates.
What is covered by the SUS?
Coverage includes medical consultations, laboratory tests, essential prescription drugs, as well as hospitalisation in public or private facilities under contract with the government.
To access the Brazilian public health service, you must first contact your local health centre, clinic or family health unit. They will direct you to the relevant service, practitioner or medical centre.
Despite substantial progress since the introduction of the universal health system in 1988, Brazil’s public healthcare system still suffers from many weaknesses. These include uneven distribution of health facilities, lack of medical equipment, and lengthy waiting times for treatment.
Private clinics offer access to quality and efficient medical care; they are the preferred option of most residents with sufficient financial resources and expatriates covered by international health insurance. In addition, it is difficult to find a French or English-speaking healthcare provider in the public sector.
Brazil’s private healthcare system is good but expensive
The demand for private health facilities in Brazil is on the increase. Nearly 70% of medical centres in Brazil are reportedly private , with 25% of the country’s population opting for private health insurance.
In the private system, the quality of healthcare and infrastructure is far superior to that of the public sector. On a par with United States’ health facilities, Brazilian private clinics are constantly striving to improve and innovate. Compared to the public sector, private medical services are expensive.
Brazil is also a popular destination for medical tourism, in particular for plastic surgery. This is why more and more first-rate facilities are being developed. This type of infrastructure offers patients/clients high-end hotel services along with excellent treatment.
How much does healthcare cost in Brazil?
Prices depend on the type of institution, the specialty of the health professional and the region. For example, a visit to a general practitioner in a private practice can cost between R$200 and R$250 in Rio de Janeiro, while in Brasilia it can cost up to R$500. In the private sector, dental and optical care are generally cheaper than in Europe with similar standards. In contrast, a simple surgical procedure can cost up to R$28,000 in private facilities.
In fact, prices for private health services can vary considerably, depending on the reputation of a doctor or institution, without any measurable difference in the quality of services and equipment.
The health situation in Brazil
Despite significant geographical disparities, the health situation in Brazil is generally good. It is recommended to eat well-cooked food and avoid tap water. Even if no vaccinations are compulsory, you should get vaccinated against yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, and typhoid. Remember to protect yourself against mosquito bites as malaria and dengue fever are rampant in some areas! As the Covid-19 virus and its variants remain active in the country, you should check regularly on the evolution of the situation to know the rules and the procedure in case of you get infected. You can find more information here.
L’assurance santé internationale : la meilleure solution pour les expatriés au Brésil
Before relocating, in order to benefit from optimal health coverage, expatriates should subscribe to private international health insurance.
The main advantage of being covered by this type of insurance is that you receive worldwide efficient medical coverage, particularly in case of emergencies, in both the public and private sectors.
Foyer Global Health is your healthcare insurance provider of choice. We offer a suite of coverage advantages:
- Effective health coverage in Brazil, your home country and anywhere else in the world
- For you and your family, an insurance plan tailored to your profile and your life plan
- A comprehensive health insurance for a full range of medical services (including treatment for Covid-19) at competitive prices with the healthcare provider of your choice
- Emergency evacuation and repatriation plans
- Multilingual medical online assistance
If you have any questions about Foyer Global Health insurance solutions for expats in Brazil, contact our team of experts by email or phone! They will help you develop a coverage plan uniquely suited to your needs.