By Benjamin Parkin, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – President Dilma Rousseff inaugurated the new Hospital Restinga e Extremo-Sul, in a southern district of Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, on Friday. The President, who officially announced that she running for re-election in October, said the inauguration of the hospital was a “fulfilled duty” because “it was a debt of different governments that passed before us.”
The president was just in Rio de Janeiro state on June 30th to mark the opening of Hospital Estadual dos Lagos in Saquarema that will serve an estimated 2.3 million people living there. “We show what it is possible to do, and that those who are doing things will continue doing so,” she said.
Rousseff took the opportunity to again defend the government’s controversial Mais Médicos (More Doctors) program, which brings medical professionals from foreign countries – most notably Cuba – to work in the Brazilian health system. “There are more than 14,000 doctors [in the program] spread through the major capitals, metropolitan regions and the peripheries, in medium and small cities, and through all of the rural areas.”
“Even São Paulo, the richest state in this country,” she continued, “appealed for the program and has Mais Médicos professionals. We reached fifty million [patients] in less than a year.”
On the theme of the World Cup, of which Porto Alegre is a host city, Rousseff defended the success of the mega-event in the face of criticism. She pointed out the disbelief of “the amount of people who said that the World Cup would not go right, that we would lose, that it would be chaotic, that there would be an energy shortage, everything that is bad.”
On the contrary, “we defeated the pessimists who said that there was no possibility of the World Cup going right here. It has gone right and we have shown a happy country, which knows how to receive tourists.”
Read more (in Portuguese).
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