On 01.20.2015, the Brazilian Provisional Measure # 656/2014 was converted into the Brazilian Federal Law # 13,097/2015, regulating various matters, among which an amendment of the Brazilian Federal Law # 8,080/1990, known as the Brazilian Health Sector Law, that regulates the conditions for the promotion, protection and recovery of health, as well as the organization and functioning of the corresponding services and agents authorized to perform activities related to such sector.

The amendment to the Brazilian Federal Law # 8,080/1990 aims at allowing foreign investment, direct or indirect, including the acquisition of control, in activities related to the health assistance sector, which includes investments in hospitals, clinics, laboratories etc.

The amendment of the Brazilian Federal Law # 8,080/1990 only allows the participation of foreign capital, directly or indirectly, in the following cases:

  1. donations of international bodies associated to the United Nations, of technical cooperation entities and of financing and loans;
  2. legal entities with purposes to install, operate and exploit:

    1. general hospital, including philanthropic, specialized hospital, polyclinics, general clinic and specialized clinic; and
    2. actions and researches related to family planning;
  3. health services maintained, non for profit, by companies, for health care services for their employees and dependents, without any encumbrances to the social security; and
  4. other cases that may be regulated under specific legislation.

The Brazilian Federal Law # 13,097/2015 also created the new Article 53-A to the Brazilian Federal Law 8,080/1990 which expressly allows foreign investment in relation to laboratories that perform human genetic research, production and supply of pharmaceutical and other products for the health sector and laboratories for clinic analysis and diagnostics through images.

Prior to the new law, foreign investments in the health sector were made through certain instruments of debt such as debentures or indirectly through the acquisition of capital of Brazilian Health Plan Operators.

The Brazilian Federal Law # 13.097/2015 entered into force upon its publication, being permitted foreign investment in the Brazilian hospital sector from 01.20.2015.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.