The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the staggering inequality that continues to define Brazilian society at every turn. The divide between rich and poor is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in the difference between those who can afford private healthcare and those dependent on the public healthcare system. Per newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, patients hospitalized in private institutions are 50 percent more likely to recover from the coronavirus than those admitted to public hospitals.
On average 51 percent of coronavirus patients in private hospitals survive, compared to only 34 percent in public hospitals. Unsurprisingly, the lowest recovery rates are in hospitals in the North and Northeast, the poorest regions of Brazil. The data was provided to the newspaper by the Health Ministry’s Epidemiological Surveillance System.
Only 47 million Brazilians — less than 20 percent of the population — have a private healthcare plan. Brazilian public hospitals have been systemically underfunded over the years and often lack intensive care units and ventilators, particularly in poorer and more rural parts of the country.
While the government has attempted to unify private and public healthcare networks in the war against Covid-19, this hasn’t been sufficient to negate the staggering inequalities present in Brazil’s health system, which The Brazilian Report explained earlier this year.Support this coverage →