Does migration play a role in the availability of health care workers? What are the migration patterns? | Brazil Does migration play a role in the availability of health care workers? What are the migration patterns? | Brazil

31 Mar 2022

Many students migrate from small towns to big cities to pursue a university course in health-related areas. Once trained, many health professionals remain in large urban areas for their professional life. This leads to villages and towns suffering from a lack of health professionals to care for the population and high vacancy rates for medical doctors. As part of the strategies to reduce this problem, in 2013 the federal government instituted a program called “More Doctors” (Mais Médicos) which aimed to improve the primary care infrastructure, to increase availability of university courses for medicine, and to provide emergency supply of doctors to work in priority areas for the SUS (Giovanella et al., 2016; Girardi et al., 2016). The program More Doctors was substituted by the program “Doctors for Brazil” (Médicos pelo Brasil) in 2019. The new program “Doctors for Brazil” aims to supply remote areas of Brazil with doctors. There is an estimate that a total of 18,000 places will be created, with 4,000 located in the North and North-eastern areas of the country. Both Brazilian and foreign doctors are allowed to participate if their medical certificates are valid in Brazil. Other changes brought by the new program include doctors selection through admission tests and the establishment of work contracts in accordance with the Brazilian working laws (Confederação das Leis Trabalhistas – CLT) with two-year probationary period (Brazilian Ministry of Health, 2019e), as opposed to informal (hourly paid) jobs.


Brazilian Ministry of Health. (2019e). Médicos pelo Brasil é aprovado pelo Congresso Nacional [Government]. http://saude.gov.br/noticias/agencia-saude/46092-medicos-pelo-brasil-e-aprovado-pelo-congresso-nacional

Giovanella, L., Mendonça, M. H. M. de, Fausto, M. C. R., Almeida, P. F. de, Bousquat, A., Lima, J. G., Seidl, H., Franco, C. M., Fusaro, E. R., & Almeida, S. Z. F. (2016). A provisão emergencial de médicos pelo Programa Mais Médicos e a qualidade da estrutura das unidades básicas de saúde. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, 21(9), 2697–2708. https://doi.org/10.1590/1413-81232015219.16052016

Girardi, S. N., Stralen, A. C. de S. van, Cella, J. N., Wan Der Maas, L., Carvalho, C. L., & Faria, E. de O. (2016). Impacto do Programa Mais Médicos na redução da escassez de médicos em Atenção Primária à Saúde. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, 21(9), 2675–2684. https://doi.org/10.1590/1413-81232015219.16032016