Intended for healthcare professionals


Brazil’s general election will decide the future of world’s largest public health system

BMJ 2022; 379 doi: (Published 28 October 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;379:o2601
  1. Luke Taylor
  1. Bogotá

The future of the world’s largest government run public healthcare system, the Amazon rainforest, and Latin America’s fourth largest democracy will be decided in Brazil’s general election on 30 October when the public will vote to either re-elect current right wing president, Jair Bolsonaro, or the leftist former president, Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva.

Polls suggest that Lula, president from 2003 to 2010, will remove the incumbent from office, but the margins are tight in what analysts say is one of the most crucial Brazilian elections in decades. “This is one of the most important elections to define the future of Brazil’s democracy, public health, education, environment, scientific development, and human rights,” said Marcia Castro, chair of the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

At stake is the future state of Brazil’s national health system, the Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS), which since 1990 has delivered free healthcare to more than 200 million Brazilians. Despite the SUS’s …

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