Lourenço Canuto Reporter Agência Brasil
Brasília – Problems in the Brazilian public health system (doctors on strike, equipment and material shortfalls and, once in a while, someone dying in line waiting to see a doctor) could be resolved if corruption was eliminated. At least that is what 82% of the people interviewed in a public opinion poll said.
The poll, run by one of the country’s most prestigious pollsters, Ibope, for the National Confederation of Industry (“CNI”), interviewed 2,002 people in 141 municipalities around the country.
Only 4% of those interviewed said they believed that the government should increase taxes in order to get more funds for the public health system.
The poll found that 96% of those interviewed had used either the public or private health systems at some time and 61% said they had done so within the last 12 months. Out of those, the majority, 79%, got outpatient treatment at a public hospital.
When asked to grade, on a scale of 1 to 10, public and private hospitals, interviewees gave the public system a grade of 5.7, and the private system 8.1.
Asked how the public system could be improved, 57% said there should be more doctors, and 63% said they favored privatization of the public system, transferring the management of public hospitals to the private sector, believing it would result in better quality of treatment.
As Brazilians are notorious for self-medication and negotiating medications with pharmacists (instead of making an appointment with a doctor), it was a surprise to the pollsters that 84% of those interviewed said they were in favor of a recent government measure to control the use of antibiotics that requires a copy of a prescription for antibiotics to be left at a pharmacy so that there is some control.
Interestingly, 71% of those interviewed said they considered preventive medicine more important than the construction of hospitals.
A large majority of those interviewed said generic medicines were as good as famous brand name medicines and 80% said natural childbirth was better than a cesarean section (although Brazil has one of the highest rates of cesarean sections in the world).
The poll found that people with higher incomes or higher levels of education had more strongly negative opinions about the public health system. Negative opinions were also more prevalent in larger urban areas (cities with over 100,000 inhabitants) than in rural areas or smaller cities. Finally, women were slightly more negative about the public health system (55%), than men (51%).
Allen Bennett – translator/editor The News in English
Link - Fim da corrupção pode melhorar serviços públicos de saúde, diz a maioria da população