Whenever traveling and living abroad, it is important to be educated about health concerns and possible issues. Brazil and Rio offer their own unique difficulties.
The national health policy is based on the Federal Constitution of 1988 which established the Unified Health System (SUS). Health care is generally good in Brazil, particularly in large cities. The Health field has advanced greatly in recent years and average life expectancy of Brazilians has increased considerably. Infant mortality remains high, both by Latin American and world standards.
The quality of tap water varies, but is generally unsafe to drink unfiltered. Most Brazilians prefer to filtered water. This is important to consider with street foods and juices, as well as fresh produce. Boiling for at least a minute and Iodine pills are common solutions.
HIV/AIDS is a significant risk in Brazil. If engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection, vigorously protect yourself. There are other health concerns such as Dengue, Hepatitis A, and Malaria.
Over 200,000 physicians work in Brazil with a national average ratio was of 14 physicians per 10,000 population. A language barrier may still exist, particularly with non-professional staff.
When in need of public health care the biggest issue- even in emergencies- are the long lines. This can deter people from basic care. Because of the wait time services and care can also be rushed as doctors need to see as many patients as possible.
Listings for doctors can be found at brazil.areaconnect.com/Doctors. Your national embassy is an excellent resource when looking for physicians, dentists, and pharmacists in an emergency situation.
While many doctors are multi-lingual, it can be a challenge to communicate in your native tongue. Clinica Galdino Campos specializes in travel medicine and offers doctors speaking many languages and will help prepare paperwork for your insurance company.
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Rio de Janeiro is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in Brazil. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
EasyExpat.com works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.
Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in Brazil: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.
For more information on expat health insurance in Brazil, visit our partner APRIL International