Debate rages over foreign healthcare investments

June 14, 2013
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Debate over Foreign Healthcare

Many countries have long-running debates over their healthcare systems and Brazil is no different. This week, the Brazilian Senate began debating a bill that would increase the participation of foreign investment in the country's healthcare services. The proposal is that hospitals and clinics maintain at least 51 percent of Brazilian equity and there are restrictions on foreign investments for certain services.

There is a public hearing being held at the Economic Affairs Committee where several individuals are speaking about why this piece of legislation would be a positive development for the country and its residents.

"I am in favor of clear rules on investment are established and in terms of which manner it can be applied to expand private services," said Health Minister Alexandre Padilha. "There is deficit of specialized beds, for urgent care and emergency services, diagnostics and for ICUs."

According to the National Association of Private Hospitals, the organization needs another 14,000 beds in order to provide quality care to the new users of health plans. Budgets restrictions caused the group to eliminate 18,000 beds at the same time that 5 million users were being added.

Currently, the law only allows for the entry of foreign investments in hospitals in the case of international grants, technical cooperation and non-profit services. If passed, an estimated 75 percent of the population will benefit from improved services and care options.

If passed, this will open up a new market for international business. Any company that seeks to take advantage of the opportunity should partner with Brazilian lawyers to make sure they are able to successfully open up shop.

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