04.05.01. Is there dementia-specific legislation either at the national or sub-national level? | Brazil

04.05.01. Is there dementia-specific legislation either at the national or sub-national level? | Brazil

07 Apr 2022

Yes, the national laws are described as follows:

  • National Law No. 11.736 establishes the 21 September as the national day of the Alzheimer’s disease, which aims to increase people’s awareness of the condition (Presidency of Republic of Brazil, 2008).
  • National Law No. 5.233 states that people with cognitive impairment, such as Parkinson’s disease, are eligible for keeping their entire salaries as retirement pensions.
  • There is the Ordinance No. 703 that establishes a “Program for Supporting People with Alzheimer’s Disease” (Programa de Assistência aos Portadores da Doença de Alzheimer, Portaria número 703) in the Brazilian Unified Healthcare System (SUS). According to this programme, the Reference Centres for Older People’s Healthcare (belonging to SUS) are responsible for diagnosing, treating, and accompanying people with Alzheimer’s Disease as well as supporting their families and carers (Presidency of Republic of Brazil, 1967). These Reference Centres are hospitals with physical infrastructure, equipment, and human resources adequate to provide healthcare to older people in an integrated way. Besides that, these centres should have, an outpatient clinic specialized in older people, geriatric day hospital (it is a kind of hospital that offers healthcare services to older people who are able to return home at the end of the day), and should provide homecare services of medium complexity for older people. A total of 74 Reference Centres are distributed among the 26 Brazilian federal states and the federal district (Brazilian Ministry of Health, 2002).

In addition, there are many “Law Projects” (Projeto de Lei no Senado or Projeto de Lei, in Portuguese) that are submitted to the federal congress for assessment and vote before becoming legally binding. This process may last years until completion. Some of the law projects are related to dementia. These are:

  • PLS No. 4364 (2020): aims to create The National Policy for Integrated Care for People Living with Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias (Brazilian Federal Congress, 2020).
  • PLS No. 30 (2018): aims to allow people living with dementia to manage a Brazilian financial fund (FGTS) at any time, which they would otherwise only be allowed to manage after retirement or under specific circumstances (Brazilian Federal Congress, 2018).
  • PLS No. 61 (2017): people with Alzheimer’s disease to receive income tax payment waiver (Brazilian Federal Congress, 2017).
  • PLS No. 523 (2011): provides subsidised medicine for people with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression, diabetes etc. (Brazilian Federal Congress, 2011b).
  • PLS No. 412 (2011): supports campaigns advising prevention and timely diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (Brazilian Federal Congress, 2011a, p. 412).


Brazilian Federal Congress. (2011a). Projeto de Lei do Senado n° 412, de 2011—Pesquisas—Senado Federal. https://www25.senado.leg.br/web/atividade/materias/-/materia/101226

Brazilian Federal Congress. (2011b). Projeto de Lei do Senado n° 523, de 2011—Pesquisas—Senado Federal. https://www25.senado.leg.br/web/atividade/materias/-/materia/101821

Brazilian Federal Congress. (2017). Projeto de Lei do Senado n° 61, de 2017—Pesquisas—Senado Federal. https://www25.senado.leg.br/web/atividade/materias/-/materia/128350

Brazilian Federal Congress. (2018). Projeto de Lei do Senado n° 30, de 2018—Pesquisas—Senado Federal. https://www25.senado.leg.br/web/atividade/materias/-/materia/132157

Brazilian Federal Congress. (2020). Projeto de Lei do Senado 4364, de 2020. https://www25.senado.leg.br/web/atividade/materias/-/materia/144381

Brazilian Ministry of Health (Ed.). (2002). Redes estaduais de atenção à saúde do idoso: Guia operacional e portarias relacionadas. Editora MS. http://bvsms.saude.gov.br/bvs/publicacoes/redes_estaduais.pdf

Presidency of Republic of Brazil. (1967). Lei 5233. http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/LEIS/1950-1969/L5233.htm

Presidency of Republic of Brazil. (2008). Lei 11736. http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_ato2007-2010/2008/lei/L11736.htm