Brazil gov’t wants to replace More Doctors program

A new plan should be unveiled next week

Published in 13/06/2019 - 18:45 By Yara Aquino - Brasília

Starting next week, Brazil’s Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta will unveil to Congress members and health care institutions a plan for a program to gradually replace the country’s More Doctors program. The idea is to promote debate on the initiative and hear suggestions and criticism.

The announcement was made by Erno Harzeheim, secretary for Primary Health Care, who attended a public hearing at the lower house Thursday (Jun 13).

“It has been determined since the beginning of the administration of Minister Mandetta that we put together a new place for the gradual replacement of More Doctors. This program is in its final stage of creation. Starting next week, the minister will hold a number of hearings with Congress members to show what we’ve done and hear opinions, criticism, and suggestions non-publicly,” Harzeheim said.

New criteria

One of the changes in the new program will be the adoption of more objective and transparent criteria for distributing the doctors across the country, the secretary said. “In this new program, we’ll have new criteria for setting the municipality to receive or not a provision system from the federal government.”

The contracts of health agents currently in effect will be retained until their termination. “Those under More Doctors today can rest assured that their contracts will be fulfilled to the end and the substitution will be carried out gradually, little by little. Nothing will be done abruptly,” Harzeheim pointed out.

He said the new program aims to engage more and better doctors working in primary and family care, with doctors in remote towns and serving vulnerable portions of the population in bigger cities.

As it stands today, the More Doctors program has 14,101 active doctors, as per official figures. The current tender offer for another 2,149 openings is expected to pull this number up to over 16 thousand.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Fábio Massalli / Augusto Queiroz

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