June 10, 2014
-- With all eyes on Brazil and the FIFA World Cup scheduled to kick off in a matter of days, tens of millions of spectators around the world will get a glimpse of life in this fabled country, famous for its football, samba, carnivals and of course as one of the BRIC countries. Brazil, or to give it its correct name, the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and the Latin American region. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population, with just under 200 million inhabitants.
As one of the BRIC countries, it is a focus for economic growth and a magnet for expatriates of all nationalities seeking work. But whilst the world’s footballing elite will be staying just about one month, assuming their players are good enough to progress through the early tournament stages, for expatriate workers, once the fun of the football has died away, there will still be the pressing issues of day to day living to take care of. Looking after your health will come high on that list, with Hepatitis A, B, Malaria and Dengue fever all relatively common, especially in the more rural areas. An outbreak of Dengue fever in 2002 affected 800,000 in the Rio area, so it is worth planning ahead and ensuring you have suitable international health insurance cover (http://www.medicare.co.uk/
) if you are visiting Brazil, as private healthcare there, although generally of a good quality, can be expensive to access.
Taking malaria as an example, this can often require an emergency evacuation, especially if contracted in a rural environment. Debbie Purser managing director of Medicare International points out that "Malaria is the biggest parasitic disease killer that there is in the world and there is currently no vaccine, so having fast and effective access to the right medical facilities to ensure diagnosis and treatment is essential. In particular, where an individual is living in a remote part of Brazil, it is likely that evacuation to a nearby, more comprehensive international medical facility will be needed. We have recently arranged and paid for the evacuation of two clients in similar circumstances, where the costs exceeded $9,000 in each case. At MediCare International, the offer of emergency evacuation is a core part of our package for working expatriates of any nationality, but it is particularly important where difficult diseases are prevalent. Whilst the costs of the drugs required to treat malaria is relatively modest, emergency evacuation is not, but all such costs could be met under our policies, both on an individual or group scheme basis."
As a rapidly developing country, Brazil has invested in health care since 1988; the Brazilian constitution has guaranteed that everyone has access to basic medical care in Brazil. This service can be obtained from the public national health system, from private providers subsidised by the federal government via the Social Security budget, or from the private sector via private insurance or employers.
Medical care is available to anyone who is legally living in Brazil, which, of course, includes foreign residents.
For the highest quality of health care in Brazil (http://www.medicare.co.uk/ind-benefits.aspx
), the private system is generally better than the public system, with shorter waits and better care. The more affluent Brazilians generally use this system, which covers about 20% of the Brazilian population. Debbie Purser continues, “Expatriates of any nationality holding a private international healthcare policy who may be thinking of travelling to see the football should find they are covered for international healthcare costs in Brazil whilst on holiday there. Whereas short term travel insurance policies can be limiting in terms of the cover they offer, a good quality international health insurance plan (http://www.medicare.co.uk/get-quote/basic-details.aspx
) will offer a very broad range of support for those in Brazil temporarily, matching the care quality levels even a footballer might expect.”
With nearly 30 years experience of supporting the international business community worldwide and clients from 86 nationalities in 114 countries, MediCare International - website www.medicare.co.uk - is a major provider of health insurance for working expats and retirees of all nationalities across the world, including those visiting Brazil to watch the football.