- Brazil lags behind OECD countries with regards to preventive care. 83% of Brazilian children aged around 1 were vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, compared with an OECD average of 95%.
- More effective prevention and primary care can help Brazil maintain a healthy, ageing population and counteract the increasing prevalence of diseases like cancer, diabetes and hypertension.
- Brazil has a well-functioning primary health care system organised in family health teams that reach 65% of its population. Brazil could benefit from further expanding primary health care to avoid fragmentation of care.
- In Brazil, there are stark health disparities across regions and municipalities, even before the pandemic. Avoidable hospitalisations for conditions that could be more effectively treated in the primary health care setting ranges from 24% in the South region to 40% in the North region.
- Brazil had one of the lowest rates for practicing doctors among OECD countries (2.3 doctors per 1,000 population in 2019). Clearer health workforce planning will help Brazil lessen acute health care workforce shortages.
- Progress in implementing digital technologies in PHC has been slow. Still 20% of primary health care facilities do not have electronic health records, and maintain medical records in paper form.
Breast cancer screening coverage in Brazil and OECD countries, 2013 and 2019
Source: OECD (2021), Primary Health Care in Brazil, OECD Reviews of Health Systems.
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