Brazilian government relaunches Mais Médicos program

Program seeks to expand care, especially in needy areas

Published on 20/03/2023 - 13:56 By Paula Laboissière - Agência Brasil - Brasília

The federal government announced this Monday (20) the resumption of the Mais Médicos [More Doctors] program, with the opening of 15 thousand new vacancies. Renamed Mais Médicos para o Brasil, the program, created in 2013 and marked by the hiring of Cuban doctors, now includes other areas of health, such as dentists, nurses and social workers, and promises to prioritize Brazilian professionals.

Of the total number of new openings for this year, 5 thousand will be opened through a public notice this March. The other 10 thousand will be offered in a format that foresees a counterpart from the municipalities, which, according to the federal government, guarantees the municipalities lower costs, greater agility in the replacement of the professional and conditions of permanence in these locations. The Union will invest R$ 712 million in 2023 alone.

During the ceremony at the Planalto Palace, Health Minister Nísia Teixeira highlighted that the government is committed to strengthening the program, classified by her as essential to the Unified Health System, known as SUS, and to Brazilian society.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said the program was "an exceptional success". "Few times have poor people received the treatment they got after we put Mais Médicos to work," he said. During the ceremony, Lula recalled the criticism related to the arrival of Cuban doctors in the country at the time and even apologized to the professionals.

"The majority of poor people in this country still die without being seen by the so-called specialist, which could be the most common thing, but it isn't," he highlighted. "Only those who live on the outskirts of big cities, in small towns in the interior, know what the absence of a doctor is, a person starting with a small headache and coming to pass away because there was no one to make an appointment."

The forecast is that, by December, about 28 thousand professionals will be fixed in the country, especially in areas of extreme poverty. It is estimated that 96 million people will have guaranteed medical care in primary care, considered the gateway to the SUS. This first care, in basic health units, allows for the follow-up, prevention, and reduction of health problems.

Brazilian professionals and exchange students, Brazilians trained abroad or foreigners, who will continue to work with the registry of the Ministry of Health, can participate in the calls of the Mais Médicos para o Brasil program. Brazilian doctors trained in Brazil will have preference in the selection.

Translation: Sônia Fernandes -  Edition: Graça Adjunto / Sônia Fernandes

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