Brasilia, Sept 26 (EFE). – Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Tuesday launched a strategy to strengthen the country’s health services, guaranteeing universal access and the sector’s autonomy.
With an investment of 42 billion reais (about 8.4 billion dollars or 8 billion euros), it aims to expand the national production of priority items for the national health system and reduce foreign dependence on supplies, medicines, and vaccines, among other things.
The goal is for Brazil to produce 70% of the inputs needed for the health sector in 10 years.
“What is happening today is the realization of a dream that we have had in our minds for a long time,” said Lula during the strategy presentation at the Planalto Presidential Palace.
According to the progressive leader, Brazil needs to transform itself into a great nation and put aside the “street dog” complex that dwarfs it, for which he expects everyone to work so that the country grows.
The government’s idea is to strengthen the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases such as tuberculosis, Chagas’ disease, HIV, and viral hepatitis without neglecting other diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, dengue, orthopedic trauma, and other health emergencies.
To achieve these goals, six programs will form the backbone of the strategy, involving eleven ministries and other public agencies under the leadership of the Health and Development and Trade and Industry portfolios, with active participation from the private sector.
According to Health Minister Nísia Trinidade Lima, Brazil currently imports $20 billion worth of products used in the sector, so the idea is to overcome dependency.
Health in Brazil, the minister said, represents 10% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and guarantees the creation of 20 million direct and indirect jobs.
To carry out this plan, the Lula government is planning a significant investment in which the private sector is expected to contribute more than half (about 23 billion reais or 4.6 billion dollars).
With these investments, it is expected to supply the Unified Health System (SUS) with Brazilian production and technology and, in a period of 10 years, to stop the growth of the health trade deficit, which was 11 billion dollars in 2013 and will reach 20 billion dollars in 2023. EFE