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Rousseff Launches Healthcare Plan in Bid to Quell Protests

06/24/2013 - 15h17

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VALDO CRUZ
FROM BRASILIA

In an attempt to address 'the voice from the streets', and to limit the damage done to the government's reputation by the recent protests, President Dilma Rousseff will today meet with 27 state governors and 26 mayors of state capitals, in order to try and win support for a raft of proposals in health, education, urban mobility and transparency.

The President is also considering a reshuffle of her cabinet. This would take place in July, during the recess of the National Congress. However, this decision has yet to be taken.

As Folha has learned, the President has ordered her team to come up with concrete proposals in today's meeting and in the coming days. The government's view is that the protests are likely to continue if the talks fail to produce tangible results. This sense of urgency was intensified by the results of research carried out by political allies of the government, suggesting that the President's approval ratings continue to fall.

The government will announce to state governors and mayors the creation of 4000 positions for junior doctors, as well as a plan for the construction of new hospitals and the purchase of new medical equipment.

The new vacancies for junior doctors will be officially announced tomorrow. The Ministry of Health will also launch the programme 'Mais Médicos Brasil' (More Doctors Brazil), aimed at importing doctors who received their training abroad.

In the meeting, Rousseff will also reaffirm her commitment to the Plano Nacional de Mobilidade Urbana (National Plan of Urban Mobility), a programme which was scheduled to be well underway by now, but which has largely failed to materialise.

She will also seek the support of legislators for the approval of a project in Congress which will direct all profits made from pre-salt layer oil extraction to education.

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

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