2011 Survey of Health Care Consumers in Brazil
Global survey of health care consumers
The Brazilian health care market has been facing growing challenges for more than a decade. For example, the number of health plan operators has been decreasing year after year; key issues include high cost of services, high levels of claim rates, and questions regarding old coverage contracts. Hospitals, clinics, and physicians are also facing challenges, such as assisting patients under agreements that do not adequately cover their costs. Pharmaceutical and biotech industries must deal with patent expirations, threatened price controls by the government, and an influx of imports, which exposes these companies to USD exchange rate variations and the consequences of worldwide economic instability.
Among survey key findings
- Brazilian consumers are dissatisfied and believe that the system is not performing well.
- Most Brazilians report they are in good health. Almost half say they have at least one chronic condition.
- Healthy living programs are used by 1 in 4 whereas few use personal trainers to improve health.
- Vitamins and food with health benefits are popular and many have regular check-ups and screenings.
- Consumers trust medical providers for information about treatments, safety, and costs.
- Use of social networking sites for health care information, management, and monitoring is low.
- Brazilians are interested in self-monitoring technologies and smart phones for their health management.
- Personal health records are not widely used by most Brazilians; use of online resources for health care is low compared to use for banking, shopping, and travel.
- Less than half of Brazilian consumers report having a primary care relationship.
- Perceived specialization, ease of access, and reputation are factors Brazilian consumers consider in differentiating hospitals.
- Brazilian consumers are receptive to retail/ ambulatory options for non-urgent care.
- Traveling for care outside Brazil is not common; however, many are willing to consider that option if it is recommended by their doctor.
- 4 in 10 take prescription medications and 15 percent use over-the-counter therapies.
- 11 percent of Brazilian respondents use alternative/natural therapies.
- 3 in 4 consumers who responded have supplemental insurance; 6 in 10 believe they are adequately insured.
- Brazilians with insurance value benefits that enhance care coordination and active health management.
- 8 in 10 consumers say they limit spending for household essentials because of health care expenses. Those who feel adequately insured feel better prepared to deal with future health care obligations.
- Consumers are critical of Brazil's health care system and desire improvements.
The 2011 Survey of Health Care Consumers in Brazil offers health care industry leaders and policy makers a timely look at how health care consumerism is evolving, as well as a comprehensive perspective on how Brazilians approach their health, health care, and health insurance.