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Category Archives: Brazilian Red Tape

Public Healthcare in Brazil- Sistema Único de Saúde

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So all of my research on babies has of course made me more aware of the healthcare system in Brasil.  A lot of which I am told was the “inspiration” for Obamacare.

From various stats between 20-25% of Brasilians don’t use the public healthcare system, the lack of private healthcare is that rampant.  From WHO, it seems that pre-1970 the lack of healthcare was abysmal.  Which of course makes sense when you have a country as large as Brasil, with the problems of under-education, and large illegal or blue collar/self employed work force (farmers…etc).   So while the Brasilian people are taxed heavily, I can see how something like this really makes sense for this country.  The life expectancy of a Brasilian is 73.5… compared to back before they had this large scale healthcare… and it was like 45 years old. So that’s obviously a big difference. Of course economic growth and wealth I’m sure have helped increase that too.  Also, as the wealth in Brasil increases more and more individuals are supplementing their free healthcare with private healthcare too, because well the public system IS the public system.

The system is a mix of Federal and State funding.  So Sao Paulo public healthcare is great when you compare it to say Piaui (where my nanny is from), as their state isn’t as rich, so things aren’t as good.  And of course, it’s Brasil, so there is of course the usual wasteful money dealings that go on …

A recent survey of Brasilian health care published in the Lancet, an international journal, argued that SUS gets poor value for the money it spends on drugs, because too much goes on complying with court orders granted to patients who use the constitution’s lofty promises to demand expensive treatments not automatically covered by the system. And too much of the budget still goes to hospitals rather than the Family Health Programme, says Michele Gragnolati of the World Bank.

From the Economist, it seems that not everything is free with the healthcare (which it shouldn’t be), but the Brasilian population is pushing for even more coverage. Ironic, as I feel there are bigger issues that needed to be addressed before adding to the issues.

An audit carried out in 1997 by the Ministry of Health showed that at least an amount equal to US$ 557 million (R$ 600 million) belonging to the federal health budget goes missing every year. World Health Organization

Yeah corruption and waste… go figure the Brasilian system has issues with corruption.  In fact, the health system here in Brasil is so bad, that the private insurance systems (other than the cost of those hotel room suites for maternity), have been able to charge ridiculously high prices.

In São Paulo, for instance, the best hospitals charge fees that are sometimes higher than those charged by well-known hospitals in the United States. Some health insurances are even offering Brasilian patients the option of receiving health care in the United States since, in certain cases, the costs of transportation and treatment in the United States are lower than getting the same treatment in São Paulo.

To be fair as an American, I fully admit the US system has its issues.  We spend more than any other country, not everyone is covered, and we are SUPER SUPER inefficient.  Which is yet another reason we shouldn’t have jumped right into universal healthcare straightaway. BUT we are still set up better than Brasil to handle the issue, as at least we definitely have the infrastructure in place.


Addicted to your email?

A friend sent me a news snipit regarding  answering work emails after hours . . . something I’m very guilty of doing, as I think I’m addicted to email.  I’ve stopped sleeping with the phone near my bed so that I’m not tempted… I’m that bad.

Well, it turns out that Brasil passed a law stating that if you are answering those afterhours emails or phone calls, then you may be eligible for overtime.  Brasil people don’t sue for much.  I could trip fall and break my entire face in Pao de Acucar because of a giant oil slick, and well that’s my fault for not paying attention.  However, when it comes to HR and employment then, yes there is huge protective laws for employees… and with that huge budgets for lawsuits and taxes, lots and lots of taxes.

I can tell you that my husband gets calls at all hours, Sunday, at midnight, at 5 am.  The work calls come in constantly.  And this is after he gets home anywhere between 9pm and 1am every night.  Especially in Sao Paulo, the work ethic or desire to work crazy hours is bigger with Paulistanos than with other Brasilians.

The law states that employees who are subject to this can ask for overtime pay.  I think that means my husband will still get emails and calls, and the barrage will continue. However, it means in 10 years or what have you, he could always find a lawyer to represent him to sue for overtime pay.

I do think it’s great when companies remind employees not to send emails afterhours.  VW adopted a similar stance.  I usually tend to draft emails to go out at 8am, even if I wrote them tonight. That way my co-workers are not subjected to emails, even though I’m lame and emailing them after hours.

Sexy Brasilian women

The title alone should garner a lot of attention by creeps and weirdos I’m sure.  However, I ran across this interesting article about Gisele Bunchen today.  In short the Brasilian Ministry of Woman (shocked to hear this little thing exists!) is against her add as they felt it was sexist to women.  She’s wearing underwear (what’s new those ads are everywhere) and telling her husband about all the awful things she’s done as a way to distract him from the bad news.

I’m not going to get into whether the ad should be banned or not. I just find it kind of hilarious that there’s a Brasilian Ministry of Women, and they’re taking up this cause.  Because seriously… there are some crazy sexist things on tv all the time. Woman are demeaned all the time and made to be sex objects, so why now? Why this.  Just one more thing about Brasil that mystifies me.

Day 6: Jeri Day 2!!

So day 2 was great.  The little guy slept in until 7am… something about the wood shutters I’m sure.  Breakfast was great, I love how Pousada’s serve free breakfast.  This one had crepes and tapioca (beijus), hubby got the crepe and I the soft and chewy tapioca.  And the little guy was entertained by spitting his food, well more like sticking his tongue out and letting the food roll off onto the floor, where three little cats sat expectantly waiting to eat his mess.

Today the plan was to get a dune buggy, which they pronounce “boogie” with a bit more accent on the “oo.”   I kept thinking my husband was arranging for us to go boogie boarding, which I just couldn’t see my son doing.  The buggy was needed to take us into the dunes, where there are some freshwater lakes.  Yes lakes, not ponds.

We drove in, and I thought we had reached the ocean. It was blue and beautiful and large.   My son absolutely loved that when he got splashed with waves it was just plain ole drinking water, no salty/chlorine taste to spit out.

The teeny beach was lined with hammocks resting in the water, and the water was warm and had waves lapping up on shore due to the strong winds.

They even had a little plank that you could jump off into deeper water.  We obviously didn’t trust the wee one to be able to jump on his own, but with a little help from dad, he loved it.

We then headed up to Sitio Verde, where we got lunch.  It was a bit pricey for middle of nowhere,but really good.  They also had a small beach, not as crowded, and only a few hammocks.  Dad decided to go “fishing,” and caught himself a rather unique fish…. wouldn’t stop squirming though . . .

The net hammock was great for our son, as he was able to stick his legs and arms through the holes in the net and play in the water like he wanted to, without us having to worry about him trying to stick his head in too!

We were supposed to head off to a smaller body of water near a dune for some sand surfing, but our driver disappeared, and by the time he popped his weasley head up, we needed to get home.

The unfortunate side affect of all of the dune buggying was the sand… my poor son woke up with conjunctivitis the next day… but I still think he thinks it was worth it.

It’s all about the scissors

Things are looking up for my husband.  The monkey has been timing his naps around when daddy calls… it’s like he knows he just needs to stay up for a few more minutes.  We have a car we are looking at tomorrow from an expat we found on Internations, and we have a potential apartment that meets our high standards.

Sooo… on to the story about scissors…

Today my husband headed to the Federal Police to get his RNE.  Now earlier I posted about how we took a bunch of photos for Brasil at Wal-Mart so we could save money (for those of you who know my husband you know that he really is this cheap).  Well hubby brought one such photo today for the RNE. He brought all of the paperwork that he needed (his company helped him with this part), the photos, and met with a despachante. They’re an administrative officer who pretty much helps with the process. Well it turns out that hubby didn’t look up what type of photos you need.

US photos are 2×2 in.  Brasil photos are 3×4 cm.  So simple problem right? Find a pair of scissors and cut it down to size.  Well my husband’s swiss army knife with scissors (super micro tiny swiss army knife) was confiscated on his trip out, so he didn’t have those to try and use, so the despachante frantically searched the Federal Police office.  I guess they don’t keep scissors there (make a mental note of this people).  So he decided to go across the street to the photo place, where they take photos for $15 R.  As they were walking across the street my husband sees this office and figures they would have scissors.  So he makes the despachante go in and ask.  Of course this guy is utterly embarrassed that my husband is having him do this. And the woman at the desk flat-out tells them they don’t have scissors.  By chance a pair of scissors are actually sitting on the desk behind her, so my husband asks what about the scissors behind her. In a typical non confrontational Brasilian way she states, “Oh those are another workers, and I couldn’t let you use hers as she is not here to ask.”  Hubby would have continued the quarrel, but the despachante was already embarrassed enough and made him go take a photo at the photo place.

For those of you EVER planning on going to Brasil, a nice little page that walks through the various documents and what you need can be found at Anglo Info:

Within 30 days of arrival in Brasil, a foreigner should go to the Federal Police office closest to their place of residence, taking the following documents:

  • Two recent photographs, size 3x4cm (colour, white background, smooth paper)
  • Passport and photocopies of the used pages of the passport or travel document
  • Embarkation/disembarkation card

Fingerprints are also taken. There is a fee, payable at a branch of Banco do Brasil (Federal Police offices have a branch of Banco do Brasil within the same building).

Once the application has been made, the applicant immediately obtains a protocol number (protocolo) which serves as temporary evidence of residency status. An individual is considered legal in Brasil with this document even if their visa expires. They may also apply for a Carteira de Trabalho or work-permit, valid until the process is complete and they may seek employment in Brasil or set up their own business.

Beware of emails

I realize I have promised to post on here regularly, and I have lots of back information I have yet to even post about.  However, this morning at 5am I drove my husband to the airport. He was flying to a 3 day training and then hopping on a plane to Brazil.  We are losing 40 lbs. that we could bring because of this fact, as did you know that you can take 2, 70 lb bags when going to Brazil, versus the standard 50 lbs.?! Yeah sweet deal. I guess it’s because everyone smuggles so many “gifts” in to the country 😉 Either way as his flight from Utah to LA is considered domestic, he couldn’t take advantage of the 70lb bag limit.

Anyway the point as to why we should be wary of emails.  E-mails for us have been mostly bad news.  “Oh sorry we haven’t got around to sumbitting the paperwork for your work permit yet.” “Oh hey, the girl you were working with left the company and with it all of the previous paperwork you filled out three months ago.” “Oh hey your stuff is being held ransom.”

Well today’s email was, “Hey the lawyers are still working out the financial terms of you working in Brazil..”

Nevermind that we told them in May we were going to Brazil.

Nevermind that my husband isn’t exactly a big wig or anything. Seriously how much is there to work out?

The plus in all of this is that if the lawyers continue to be lawyers (haha to all my lawyer friends), then well hubby may get to spend Christmas with me!

For the “Esposo” of Put Aside the Ranger… yes we didn’t make up this ENTIRE trip to Brazil to get out of well … everything 😉

Our stuff is being held ransom

So we got an email yesterday telling us that due to the ports in Brazil being super backlogged due to issues “currently” we can expect our things in 6 weeks. I had to laugh because here and here people moving have pretty much indicated this is standard timing… not “exceptional delays due to unusual conditions,” as this email seemed to state.  Then again, maybe it will be 8-10 weeks! ACK!!!

As we packed up everything on the 30th, I thought we were being smart and gaining time by still being in the US so that we wouldn’t feel like we were waiting as long for our stuff to come when we moved to Brazil. We had room so we threw in our iron.. yes we now have an Iron coming about 2 months after we would want to iron clothing. So we’ll be somewhat wrinkly for a bit.

Oh but see, Brazil is smarter than me.


The List of demands:

  1. 03 notarized copies of passport (all pages, including blank pages) – original document may also be required.
  2. 03 notarized copies of identification card (RG / RNE)
  3. 03 notarized copies of Income Tax Card (CPF)
  4. 03 notarized copies of airline ticket used to enter in Brazil first time with your visa  (boarding pass may be required too)
  5. 03 simple copy of proof of residence in Brazil
  6. 01 original of power of attorney plus 2 notarized copies (form will be supplied by Fink), this form should be issued by the Tabelião de Notas in Brazil;
  7. Valued list in Portuguese: form will be supplied by Fink and should be filled in Portuguese and mentioning values of goods to be received in US$. Form and instructions will be sent at the proper moment for preparation.
  8. 03 notarized copies of publication of visa grant at the “Diário Oficial da União”  (Brazilian official newspaper)

Today’s email held the list of documents we need to have notarized in Brazil.  The RNE identification card we can’t get until we are in Brazil, and we have no proof of living anywhere yet. And of course, they won’t release our items until we have actually boarded the plane to Brazil per line 4 . Boo!  Hubby has a training on international accounting on the 8th, so is flying out on the 11th.  This means our things most likely won’t ship till mid December!  So Happy Valentine’s Day to us, we finally got our shipment.  I hope those words don’t come back to haunt me.

Ransom note generate via the Ransom Note Generator.