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Significant progress has been made in the last two decades to improve the overall standard of healthcare in São Paulo. That said, the inequalities that mark most of Brazilian society are also present in the city's healthcare system, and there is a disparity between what is available to most of the local population and what is accessed by the city's wealthier residents.
São Paulo has a two-tier health system consisting of public and private hospitals. Brazilians have access to free healthcare at government hospitals.
Hospitals in São Paulo tend to be concentrated in the upper-income areas that expats are likely to live in, meaning they will be easily accessible. Given that its healthcare system has to serve millions of residents, there is a wide selection of hospitals, pharmacies and private practices available to expats living in the city.
Since Brazil is a Portuguese-speaking country, expats may experience some language barriers, but most doctors tend to have some basic knowledge of English or Spanish. This is especially true for doctors working in the private sector.
Expats in São Paulo will have access to highly-skilled doctors and medical staff, the latest technology and a variety of world-class options when it comes to private care. This does, of course, come at a price, and it's essential that expats invest in comprehensive health insurance.
Pharmacies in São Paulo are widely available and affordable. Some pharmacies are open 24 hours and will have a range of general as well as prescription medication.
Below are some of the most highly regarded hospitals in São Paulo.
Hospitals in São Paulo
Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein
Address: Avenida Albert Einstein, 627, Jardim Leonor
Hospital Alemão Oswaldo Cruz
Address: Rua Treze de Maio, 1815, Bela Vista, São Paulo
Hospital das Clinicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo
Address: Rua Dr Ovídio Pires de Campos, 225, Cerqueira César
Address: Rua Dona Adma Jafet, 91, Bela Vista
►Read more about Healthcare and Health Insurance for expats in Brazil.
►Getting Around in São Paulo covers transport options in the city
"In hospitals like Einstein or Sírio Libanes you get world-class doctors, equipment and treatment. They are very costly, though, so be prepared and get a good health plan if you can." In her expat interview about São Paulo, Dona shares her experiences of this vibrant city.
"In the extent that my family has had to use the healthcare so far, we’ve been quite satisfied. Facilities, while not the most modern, are clean; doctors are all quite skilled. It is easy to find healthcare when needed, there are many choices, and we’ve even found English-speaking doctors in every field we’ve needed." Read more of Heather's expat interview about São Paulo.
Are you an expat living in Sao Paulo?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Sao Paulo. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
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