Healthcare and safety featured as the worst ranking public services among Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo residents
Residents of Brazil’s two largest cities, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, ranked healthcare (3.2) and safety (3.6) as the public services with lowest quality in a survey conducted by FGV’s Brazilian Institute of Economics (IBRE). Survey respondents also ranked the quality of transport (4.7), universities (4.6) and schools and day care centers (4.6) on a scale from 0 to 10.
The Public Services Survey was carried out in two phases: one before the Olympic Games (June and July) and the other shortly after the event (October and November). “After the Olympics, opinions regarding the quality of all services improved slightly, albeit only temporarily, considering that the success of the event improved the population’s overall mood. However, we had different opinions on transportation, which was actually benefited in Rio de Janeiro, specifically where there were investments in infrastructure works,” said Viviane Seda Bittencourt, coordinator of the IBRE’s Welfare Poling and responsible for the survey.
Between the two cities, Sao Paulo residents were generally more satisfied with the quality public services, both before and after the Olympics. In Rio, the overall average was 3.2 in the first phase of the survey and 4.0 in the second phase. In Sao Paulo, the average service quality score was 3.9 and 4.3 in the first and last stages, respectively.
Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo residents also rated their satisfaction regarding aspects of urban life in the cities’ areas, based on a scale from 0 to 10. Sao Paulo came out ahead of Rio in 8 of the 10 categories rated, taking second place only in air quality and sports infrastructure. “In this comparison, the scores before and after the Olympics were virtually the same. This appears to be a structural difference, considering each city’s specific characteristics.
The economist pointed out that, although there was an improvement on transportation (up from 3.6 to 4.5) and safety (up from 2.5 to 3.4) scores after the event, both rates were still below the overall average. According to Bittencourt, “before the Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro residents thought the traffic was chaotic and there were construction sites everywhere, but they did notice positive changes in transportation across all of the city’s areas.” Regarding safety, the expert said: “Although the population did notice gains in safety after the event, the quality rating was still the second worst among all services surveyed. Considering the state’s current crisis and the rising crime rate one year later, these results might have been even worse if the survey was carried out today.”
According to the coordinator, it is important to also assess safety based on the satisfaction of citizens in the area in which they live. “Residents of the North Area and Ilha do Governador are the most dissatisfied. Residents of the South Area and Grande Tijuca showed the highest satisfaction rates regarding water quality, available hospitals, safety and infrastructure for sports.”
Healthcare Quality in Brazil is low compared to European countries
A survey conducted by Eurofound in 2013 compared the perception of service quality across different European countries. The average score for health systems, for example, was 5.5 in Portugal, 6.6 in Germany and 8.0 in Austria – the highest score in the category. According to the Welfare Polling, Brazil ranked 2.9 in the same period, trailing far behind the European countries.
Go to the website to read the full report.