Brazil succeeds in reforming access to medical care for all, need to eradicate health disparities

Brazil has succeeded in remarkably improving access to medical care for most of its population through a combination of public policies and its Unified Health System. But the nation needs to focus on the eradication of health inequalities. The 2013 Brazilian National Health Survey, which was funded by the Brazilian Ministry of Health, represents that wide inequalities prevail in terms of quality of life by geographic regions, with the worst indicators in the poorest north and northeast regions. For men and women of 20 years of age, estimates of healthy life expectancy (the number of additional years expected to be lived in good health) in the richer south and southeast regions are 6.2 years higher than in the poorer north and northeast, for both women and men. In all, 45% of the Brazilian adult population has at least one non-communicable disease such as diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney failure, with the prevalence being greater among women, individuals over the age of 55 years and people living in the country’s southeastern, southern and central-western regions. Prevalence of diabetes and hypertension increased over 1998-2013 in the country. General prevalence of depression is 7.9%, with 78.8% of them do not receive any treatment, while 14.1% receive only pharmacotherapy.



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