Category: General Guide

Medical Tourism in Brazil

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Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world, with respect to population as well as area.  Hospitals in Brazil were the first to receive international accreditations from the JCI outside the US. A medical procedure in Brazil costs approximately 2/3rd of what one may have to spend in the United States for the same procedure, without compromising on quality.

Medical Tourism in Brazil


Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world, with respect to population as well as area. It’s rapid economic growth and low cost healthcare facilities have made it a pioneer in the world of medical tourism today. Although Brazil is better known for its beaches, water sports, and scenic beauty spanning almost half of South America, it has also developed a reputation as the world’s cosmetic hub thanks to quality facilities at great costs. Lately, medical tourists have been visiting Brazil to avail of its dental, orthopedic, urology, cardiology, neurology, and diagnostic medicine services too, for the cost-effective quality they provide. The medical institutions here have caught on to this trend, and are working hard to enhance and maintain their medical facilities at par with international standards, with an emphasis on quality and affordability. Ethical practices are being encouraged to maintain the influx of medical tourists into the country. In fact, hospitals in Brazil were the first to receive international accreditations from the JCI outside the US. A medical procedure in Brazil costs approximately 2/3rd of what one may have to spend in the United States for the same procedure, without compromising on quality. The medical costs in Brazil are often higher than some Asian destinations; however, its proximity to the US works in its favor. Its South American location and easily accessible coastline, offer multiple travel options by air, sea, road, and rail. Brazil’s recent success as a host for the FIFA world-cup is just another example of its booming economy and growing infrastructure. This growth is only going to get better with the impending 2016 Olympics to be held in Rio, Brazil.


Top Destinations:

Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are the hotspots of medical tourism in Brazil, with several JCI accredited medical institutions between them. Porto Alegre, located 700 miles south of Sao Paulo is another frequently visited destination with 1 JCI accredited hospital.


Safety and credentials:

Brazil boasts of approximately 15 JCI accredited hospitals and clinics. In 1999, when JCI began offering international accreditations to medical institutions outside the US, Brazil was the first to receive one such accreditation.

The Brazilian Medical course is based on the European model, with 6 years of study and internship. At the end of the 6 year course, successful candidates are conferred the physician title equivalent to a GP in the US or UK. Doctors interested in post graduate specializations have to pass a competitive entrance exam to get admitted into residency programs. After the completion of such programs they can go in for sub-speciality master’s degrees and doctoral programs. All doctors are supposed to register with the regional council of medicine before they are legally allowed to practice. The CFM, CNRM, and AMA are the regulatory bodies for Medical education and doctors in Brazil. You can also verify the credentials of your chosen doctors with the Health Ministry of Brazil.


Legal issues:

Medical malpractice laws in Brazil are stronger and much more sensitive now, due to the influence and influx of western tourists. However, medical tourism entails jurisdiction problems in most cases. When selecting a medical facility in Brazil, check if the doctors hold insurance covers against medical malpractice liabilities. Surrogacy isn’t illegal in Brazil and in most cases the laws safeguard the rights of non-biological parents. However, it would be prudent to educate yourself regarding the legalities and small print surrounding surrogacy and IVF with donor eggs and/or sperms in Brazil and about adoption procedures in your own country before you embark on this trip.


Cost of treatments in Brazil:


Cost in $

(1$=2.25 Brazilian Real)

Dental Implants


Breast Implants




Face lift


Tummy Tuck






Gynecomastia surgery


Eyelid surgery



How do you get there?

You need to have a passport that is valid at least for 6 months from the date of entry, along with a valid Brazilian visa. You can obtain a valid visa by paying a $130 nonrefundable on-time fee at a Brazilian embassy near you or by post. You cannot enter the country without a visa or apply for one at the port of entry; hence, it is recommended that you get one from the Brazilian embassy before travelling to Brazil. The tourist visas are usually for 90 days and can be extended for another 90 days once in 12 months at a Federal Police Office. Citizens of Argentina, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Israel, Netherlands, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand, and Turkey don’t require a visa to enter Brazil, just a valid passport is enough.


Some General tips:

·         Currency: Brazilian Real (BRL)

·         Accommodation: A hotel room in Brazil costs $120 on an average. However, if you are looking for something cheaper, there are private hostel rooms that cost $25-35 per night per person. For those looking for something more lavish there are 5 star hotels, spas, and beach resorts that charge 187-450$/night, and for a luxurious and upscale stay you could consider the many villas along the beach that charge around $2500/week.

·         Language: The national language of Brazil is Portuguese, but most medical institutions provide interpreters.

  • Weather: June to August is winter time in Brazil, whereas December to February is summer time there. However, in general the climate is hot and humid around the coast through-out the year. The areas around the Amazon rainforest are the wettest.
  • Cuisine: The Brazilian cuisine is a fusion of European and African culinary influences. You should certainly try the different gastronomical delights this cuisine has to offer, and while you are there don’t miss the Brazilian national drink ‘caipirinha’, a wonderful mix of crushed lime, sugar, vodka, and ice.
  • Tourist attractions: Rio de Janeiro is the most visited city in Brazil, with the enormous ‘Christ the Redeemer’ on the Corcovado mountain looking onto the vast ocean. If your plans include Rio, you simply cannot miss this enormously regal statue of Christ. You could have a laidback vacation lounging on the beaches of Brazil, or enjoy the night life in the numerous pubs in Rio that house internationally acclaimed DJs, samba music, and samba dancers. Soccer buffs could visit the famous Maracana stadium. On the other hand, if you are looking for scenic landscapes, then the Iguazu Falls at Parana, rainforest tours, and nature hikes of Brazil are perfect holiday destinations for you. 

Tags: medical tourism, quality assurance, international medical accreditation, jci, brazil hospitals, medical tourism in Brazil, brazil

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