Only a few countries provide free health care as a constitutional right, Brazil being one of them. In a country of over 200 million people, with almost the same landmass as the U.S., health is a basic right for everyone. It is a duty of the state, shown in the government’s continued commitment to healthcare.
However, ensuring access to healthcare services for so many people is anything but easy. Brazil has approximately 2.1 hospital beds for every thousand people and one and a half million medical equipment units in use. These numbers are below the baseline required by the World Health Organization (three to five beds per thousand people), and the healthcare system is facing a shortage of doctors in some areas.
Guaranteeing innovative, state-of-the-art medical solutions while improving healthcare access in Brazil is on the agenda for the biggest healthcare trade show in the region – São Paulo Radiological Congress (JPR). From today until May 3rd, more than 18,000 professionals from private institutions and ministries of health are gathered to discuss the latest innovations that will help the Brazilian healthcare system to raise its standard of care for the coming years.
According to Daurio Speranzini Jr., GE Healthcare CEO for Latin America, “Despite all challenges the country is now facing, Brazil’s government is focusing on improving the health care system. Various society sectors, such as labor unions, institutional committees, and private companies are working to guarantee that the country will always have access to the best services and technology available to help patients”. For GE Healthcare, JPR is considered to be the major health event in the region. It presents the best opportunity to stimulate the discussion around the future of healthcare as well as present its latest diagnostic imaging technologies to the market.
The Brazilian health care system demands high quality services, and shows room for improvement on access to the latest medical technology available. For this reason, GE Healthcare actually manufactures everything from X-ray, MRIs, tomography systems, c-arms and interventional equipment for surgery in Brazil, besides monitors and ultrasounds. Local production is a way to show the company’s commitment to the country and support the region with new employment opportunities.
The company is also contributing to the country’s education efforts through continuous investment in health skills development. The initiative, in partnership with a major educational institution (SENAI-SP), provides vocational and technical training to better prepare clinicians to operate the medical equipment to its full capabilities, as well as to provide new students with apprenticeships on equipment maintenance. It’s GE’s answer to the issues surrounding access to better healthcare in Brazil.