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January 26, 2009
The highs and lows of universal health care in Brazil

In Brazil, health care is free — by law, everyone has a right to treatment, from organ transplants to sex-change operations.

No one benefits more than the poor, and physicians are given incentives and paid up to three times more to work in the poorest areas of Brazil.

As a result, infant mortality is down and life expectancy is up, but there are drawbacks. Offering so much has put a strain on the health system. Most of Brazil’s hospitals are considered substandard, with long waits for procedures.

Worldfocus correspondent Edie Magnus and producer Megan Thomspon report from Brazil on the highs and lows of universal health care.

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Well, Elizabeth, it would certainly seem that you yourself have your own agenda here as this piece has nothing at all to do with the crime rate in Brazil versus the crime rate ‘elsewhere’. Further, if you are going to run with this misplaced argument, then I would advise you to look north of the border at Canada instead, which has a very similar health care system and an extremely low crime rate compared to ‘elsewhere’.

As to infant car seats, I’ve no idea where this point even came from, but it’s even less relevant to the discussion here.

Incidentally, what you’ve done here is precisely what a politician does when confronted with a topic or line of questioning that he or she either doesn’t agree with or doesn’t want to address, which is talk about something else entirely.


Mrs Elizabeth is so worried about our “free” system and the US lack of ability to provide something minimum to their citizens that she has to go after the flaws of the Brazilian society to support her discomfort.

Do better to your self, compare with the British Health Care system or the French one. It doesn’t matter where the money comes from, each society has to have it as a principle, “to take care to the health of their citizens”. Nobody knows where we’ll be in the future, how healthy/wealthy he/she are going to be. Those guys who are the first to talk about tax payers and so on, are always the same selfish bourgeois just concerned about themselves.

Please Mrs Elizabeth, don’t compare your “wonderful” and selfish system with ours from the third world, go after the big ones!!!


Have you watched sicko lately?..well, go rent it!…I was born in brazil,I;m going back…I might just live longer if i get sick…


look up saude publica on youtube and watch the real hospitals in action….in brazil


First of all, this article is about “Health Care”, not crime and infant car seats. I congratulate Brazil on trying to provide free health care to it’s citizens. Brazil is a 3rd World Country, whereas, shame on the rich and mighty United States for the way she ignores her poor!


Though the Brazilians are very concerned about quality issues in their healthare system they still would rather have it than ours.

The citizens of Brazil would rather provide care for everyone than profits to a few as in our seemingly corporate welfare system.

As Dr. Daniel Becker observed, The U.S. system that leaves so many poor behind is “pathetic”.


Your opening statement “In Brazil Healthcare is free” is patently wrong and misleading. Anyone with even a minimum knowledge of economics knows there is no such thing as “free”. If the consumer is not required to pay, then society as a whole must pay. In a country, such as Brazil, that means those who pay taxes, i.e. those who are productive and work and earn taxable income must pay for those who cannot do so. Nothing is ever “free” – someone must always pay, even for the clean air we want to breathe. World Focus should not mislead its viewers with its opening statement without that all important qualification. Moreover, in today’s global economy, those who produce and pay taxes will try to find the least costly alternative for their productive endeavor and vote with their feet by moving their capital and productive capacity, thus straining already severely compromised economies.


This was a great piece by World Focus. Made me ashamed to be an American. It was the first time the Press showed us how others handle health, welfare, and living. Elizabeth talks about sour grapes when the subject is socialized medicine. She should visit our prisons and see how misery is hidden behind large walls; how all the social ills of America are covered up with propoganda or “american” egocentrism.


Thanks for running this piece. “Health care is a right.” What a concept. Surely it’s a right here in the US . . . right?


The Brazilian doctor you interviewed for this piece thinks that our healthcare system, which leaves so many uninsured, is “pathetic.” Perhaps he might also look down his nose at the astonishing crime rates in Brazil, including a murder rate 4 times greater than in the United States. The average citizen is “shocked” that not all vaccinations here in the U.S. are free. I am shocked that all across Brazil infant car seats are rarely used, carjackings are commonplace, and walking on the beach after dark is wildly dangerous. Socialized medicine has not helped to protect Brazilian citizens from their greatest threat: each other. Your “news” show has a very obvious liberal agenda.

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