Podcast: Ep 33. How the NHS can collaborate internationally, Dr Matt Harris and Dr Nav Chana

In Episode 33 of the National Health Executive (NHE) podcast, we spoke to Dr Matt Harris who is a clinical senior lecturer in public health at Imperial College London and Dr Nav Chana who is the former chair of the National Association of Primary Care.

They told us about a scheme imported from Brazil that uses community health workers to increase NHS health checks, enhance cancer screening numbers and drive immunisation.

Dr Harris said: “What was interesting about the way in which they [Brazil] deployed their community health workers was that there was a very efficient and effective system that has scaled nationally and is actually the biggest publicly-provided, taxpayer-funded, free-at-the-point-of-use primary care system in the world now – they have 275,000 community health workers!”

Dr Harris went onto explain what was so unique about the way Brazil uses their community health workers citing their intimate knowledge of their community, how they are paid full time and the catchment areas they are responsible for.

Dr Harris and Dr Chana then explained the attitudes around learning from countries like Brazil and how they need to change.

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