Leading hospital director tipped to be Brazil’s new Health Minister, says media

health minister job
Roberto Kalil Filho

Roberto Kalil Filho, the head cardiologist at the renowned Sírio-Libanês Hospital in São Paulo, is said to be on President Jair Bolsonaro’s shortlist for the soon-to-be-vacant Health Minister position, according to newspaper Valor Econômico. Sources confirmed that President Bolsonaro grew fond of Dr. Kalil Filho after he stated he took hydroxychloroquine as part of his Covid-19 treatment — even if the doctor himself did not credit the controversial antimalarial drug for his recovery.

Dr. Kalil Filho has served as an official physician for former Presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff — as well as Senator José Serra.

The current shortlist of possible replacements for Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta includes the current Deputy Health Minister João Gabbardo dos Reis — who has political connections to former Citizenship Minister Osmar Terra — and Antônio Barra Torres, the current head of Brazil’s Sanitary Surveillance Agency and a Navy admiral. Mr. Terra’s name has also been reported as among the favorites for the job — and he has bent over backward to publicly support Mr. Bolsonaro’s calls to loosen social isolation measures in states and municipalities.

Claudio Lottemberg, chairman at Hospital Albert Einstein, is said to be a dark horse due to his connections to São Paulo Governor João Doria — who has become the face of the opposition to Mr. Bolsonaro.