Brazilian Health Minister says primary care is government’s priority
Brazilian health minister said providing primary care is the government’s main priority. Speaking at the second edition of the Health Forum in Brazil, he also mentioned that the prominent problem faced by the public health services is the hospital bed load, which can be resolved by transforming the primary care into smaller healthcare units. Despite the cuts on public healthcare expenditure the Brazilian government plans to invest BRL 5.6 billion in basic health units. The investment in healthcare has increased to BRL 20 billion in 2014 from BRL 9.7 billion in 2010 and the government plans to continue the same in future. Another strategic move involved is computerization of the accounting UBS systems with telehealth, information sharing and distance learning. According to the minister, the government also plans to have electronic medical records and connectivity in all UBS by 2018. The payment of hospitals will also be changed by terminating the procedure-based remuneration model. Hospitals should ideally be paid based on their quality and availability of services instead of paying them based on procedures, which stimulates excess unnecessary procedures. The government also needs to reform the infrastructure of hospitals in Brazil in order to support the growing burden of patients suffering from chronic and degenerative diseases. Instead of a hospital-centric methodology, Brazil is aiming to develop new models of primary care, such as care homes to strengthen the network of healthcare services.