Your Vacation in a Brazilian Hospital
Aug 21, 2013
Is it a resort or a hospital. Tourists and patients from all over the world think it’s both.
Forget the beach. How about going to Brazil to visit a hospital? Growing numbers of tourists are doing just that.
This is one of the most reputable and expensive hospitals in Brazil. It’s out of reach for the vast majority of Brazilians, but like other top medical centers here it’s been attracting a growing number of foreign patients. Medical tourism is growing worldwide and Brazil wants a bigger chunk of this market.
Kelly Matos Idelfonso, Hospital Sirio-Libanes, said, “Health services have been growing a lot over the last years. Hospitals invested a lot in technology, so we are have some of the best facilities in our part of the world. Most foreigners come to Brazil for cosmetic surgery, but our hospital is also a reference in cancer treatment.”
Tourists traveling for medical reasons spend between 40 and 60 billion dollars a year—and the market is growing around 20 percent a year. Brazil receives about 50 thousand medical travelers a year from different parts of the world—mostly from neighboring Latin American countries like Ecuador, Bolivia and Uruguay and mostly for cosmetic surgery.
Reporter: “Foreign patients who come to Brazil for treatment can be roughly divided into two groups. There are those from rich countries – mainly Europeans and North Americans who come here because medical procedures are cheaper – and there are those from poor and developing nations, from Latin America and Africa, who come because of the top quality hospitals that exist here for those who can pay.”
Currently Brazil has 25 hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission International—an organization that certifies the quality of medical services worldwide. São Paulo is the most sought after destination.
Bernardo Ignarra, São Paulo Turismo S.A., said, “We have an occupancy rate between 80% and 100% in the eight JCI accredited hospitals of São Paulo. So this is actually something that has to be sorted – this health system needs to be expanded if we are to grow in medical tourism. But we now these hospitals are planning to invest about one billion dollars over the next two years to expand their facilities and services.”
Brazil is still far from able to provide quality health care for most of its people, but in yet another reminder of this country’s stark income inequality, Brazil has become a popular destination for wealthy foreigners looking for good medical services.
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