Assessing the impact of a doctor in remote areas of Brazil

Joana Raquel Raposo dos Santos, Hellen Geremias dos Santos, Carlos Manuel Matias Dias, Alexandre Dias Porto Chiavegatto Filho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: The More Doctors Program (MDP) is an ongoing Brazilian policy that aims to improve healthcare by providing physicians to the most vulnerable municipalities. We aimed to measure the impact of MDP in mortality and infant mortality rate, the proportion of live births with low weight, prenatal appointments, childbirths at first and fifth min Apgar, public health investment and immunization in Brazil. Methods: Municipal health indicators were collected before and after the intervention (2012 and 2015). Effects were measured by applying propensity score matching with difference-in-differences. Results: Our findings show that infant mortality presented the highest improvement during the period (a decrease in 11 infant deaths per 1000 live births, p < 0.01). A significant effect, albeit smaller, was also found for the age-standardized total mortality (a decrease in five deaths per 10,000 residents), proportion of children with Apgar score lower than 8 in the fifth min and children with low birth weight. Conclusions: MDP contributed to improve important health indicators, highlighting the importance of a doctor in remote areas of Brazil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-272
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Volume65
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Mais médicos
  • Propensity score
  • Public health
  • Public policy

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