The Brazilian Ministry of Health will invest R$80mi ($34mi) in the provision of broadband internet to over 12,000 primary care units across the country.
An electronic tender was launched last Friday (29) to select the vendors that will execute the project, which will be split into four areas served by terrestrial links and one covered by a satellite connection, with contracts of three and four years respectively.
Health Minister Alexandre Padilha told newspaper O Estado de São Paulo that operators Embratel and Oi have presented the best proposals so far. The tender participants will have until next Monday to detail their plans.
It is expected that all the family physicians included in the plan will be connected by the end of 2014. Access to internet access will enable the healthcare units to access electronic patient records - which are yet to become a standard practice in Brazil - as well as faster service.
Over the last few months, the Brazilian government has continued to drive a digital inclusion agenda with initiatives focused on connecting areas of Brazil and public organizations that had been previously digitally excluded.
Examples include the trials of balloons to take internet access to remote areas of the country and the distribution of tablets to thousands of public school teachers who will act as digital inclusion hubs.