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South Africa Draws Inspiration From Brazil’s Health Care System Despite Skepticism By Some Brazilians, IPS Reports

Inter Press Service reports on how the South African government, in setting up its own universal health coverage scheme, was inspired by Brazil’s Sistema Unico de Saude or Single Health System (SUS), which was shaped during the 1980s when the system was restructured to make health care a universal right. However, IPS notes that the news may be met with skepticism by Brazilians with a negative opinion of the country’s public health care system. “The SUS made it possible to provide everyone with health care, while reducing the chaos in the health sector,” but “[c]orruption, aggravated by insufficient inspections, has contributed to the poor execution of the” system, according to IPS.

“The authorities in South Africa want to ‘borrow’ from the SUS primary health care system, which ‘is excellent, far more advanced than us, much more equitable and much more focused on prevention,’ South Africa’s minister of health, Pakishe Aaron Motsoaledi, told IPS,” according to the news service. “In order for the system to function more effectively [in Brazil], the primary health network, admired by Minister Motsoaledi, must be expanded, with more clinics and family doctors,” IPS writes (11/4).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.