The Mais Médicos (More Doctors) Program: the placement of physicians in priority municipalities in Brazil from 2013 to 2014

Cien Saude Colet. 2016 Sep;21(9):2719-27. doi: 10.1590/1413-81232015219.17702016.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


The inadequate placement and distribution of health professionals are problems that occur in various countries. The scope of the "Programa Mais Médicos" (More Doctors Program) was to reduce the shortfall of physicians and diminish regional inequalities in health. A descriptive study on the placement of physicians between 2013 and 2014 using the Ministry of Health database is presented. There was an allocation of 14,168 physicians to the 3,785 municipalities that signed up to the program: 2,377 met the priority and/or vulnerability criteria and received 77.7% of the physicians; 1,408 received 22.3% of the physicians, but did not meet the established priorities. This study reveals the reduction in the lack of physicians, mainly in the North and Northeast. These regions account for 36% of the Brazilian population and 46.3% of the physicians were allocated there. However, the introduction of an eligibility profile, which allocated 3,166 physicians in 1,408 non-priority municipalities is questionable. The conclusion drawn is that this may have hindered the ability of the Mais Médicos Program to fully achieve its objectives as a public policy aimed at reducing regional inequalities of access to primary healthcare. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the impact of the Mais Médicos Program.

MeSH terms

  • Brazil
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Government Programs*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Physicians / supply & distribution*
  • Time Factors
  • Workforce