Applicants’ proposals target primary care and SUS investments

Investing in the Unified Health System (SUS) to promote the true universalization of care for the Brazilian population is the main motto of the government plans of Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva (PT) for this area. The long waits for consultations and examinations, the lack of professionals and structure and the difficulty of accessing the service in several regions of the country are some of the main problems reported by users.

Lack of investment and good management are seen as the main problem generators in SUS. According to World Bank data, 10.5% of Brazil’s gross domestic product (GDP) was invested in health in 2021. The global average is 15.3%.

Moreover, according to a survey by the same institution, 45% of the total invested in health in Brazil comes from the public sector, that is, most of it is financed by private organizations. Meanwhile, member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have an average of 73.4% public funding for health.

The free drug program is also on the platform of the two candidates who will be vying for voter preference next Sunday (30). However, for the 2023 budget, the current government has reduced the initiative’s resources by 60% – from the current BRL 2 billion to BRL 841 million.

According to data from the Pharmaceutical Industry Union (Sindusfarma), the program reached, in 2021, more than 21 million Brazilians in 3,492 municipalities, with more than 28,000 partner pharmacies. Thanks to this program, citizens who cannot afford it benefit from free access or a 90% reduction on medicines and basic hygiene products.

In Lula’s plan, the program would be resumed. In Bolsonaro’s proposals, there would be more investment. After the controversy sparked by the disclosure of the public policy cut for 2023, the president said that the situation would be reviewed.

And after more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 687,000 deaths from the disease, and the return of eradicated or controlled diseases in the country, the National Vaccination Plan has also been mentioned in government plans. Both documents emphasize the need to strengthen the plan and bring vaccination to more people.

According to data from the Ministry of Health, vaccination coverage of the population is in freefall, arriving in 2021 with less than 59% of citizens immunized. In 2020 the index was 67% and in 2019 it was 73%. The level recommended by the Ministry of Health is 95%.

The Brazilian population has free access to all vaccines recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). In all, there are over 20 vaccines with specific recommendations and guidelines for children, adolescents, adults, pregnant women, the elderly, and Indigenous peoples.

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