UnitedHealth, the most prominent health care insurance company of the United States, signs an agreement to establish IRCAD in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro – Brazil: On Saturday, January 30, 2016, Professor Jacques Marescaux, IRCAD President, signed a partnership agreement with Dr. Edson De Godoy Bueno, CEO of Amil and board member of UnitedHealth group, with the objective of creating a new training center in Brazil in 2017 (IRCAD Rio).

Rio de Janeiro – Brazil: On Saturday, January 30, 2016, Professor Jacques Marescaux, IRCAD President, signed a partnership agreement with Dr. Edson De Godoy Bueno, CEO of Amil and board member of UnitedHealth group, with the objective of creating a new training center in Brazil in 2017 (IRCAD Rio).

Leaning against Americas Medical City, a huge hospital compound, this third international offshoot of IRCAD will first be deployed over 4,000 sq. m. in the district of Barra da Tijuca, right beside the sea, in Rio de Janeiro.

Closely modeled on the IRCAD center in Strasbourg, France, this new center will train surgeons to laparoscopic and endovascular techniques, in all specialties taught at IRCAD Strasbourg. This center will have with a platform equipped with 20 experimental operating tables, 2 robotic surgical systems, and one robotic CT-scan (Artis ZEEGO).

Given the outstanding establishment of UnitedHealth in the United States with 70 million members and its impressive network of hospitals, IRCAD Rio will not only train Latin American surgeons but also Northern American surgeons. The agreement was made possible only because IRCAD represents one of the rare institutions in Europe, along with the Imperial College of Surgeons in London, to have its training programs certified by the prestigious American College of Surgeons (ACS).

Professor Jacques Marescaux and the IRCAD team will take responsibility for scientific content, course organization, and evaluation.

IRCAD France and IRCAD Rio will also cooperate for the development of common research projects in the field of novel surgical and imaging techniques.

Project history

In April 2015, a delegation made up of American and Brazilian surgeons, radiologists, and administrative leaders of the UnitedHealth group, came to IRCAD to carry out a detailed audit of research and educational activities held at the Institute.

Further to this 4-day visit in Strasbourg, it was decided to build a new mirror Institute of IRCAD in Rio de Janeiro.

The reasons for this partnership allowing UnitedHealth to join the international network of IRCAD excellence already put together in France, Taiwan, and Brazil, are manifold:

  • IRCAD’s international recognition over 20 years;
  • IRCAD’s network of experts associating 800 opinion leaders in the field of surgery, from the world over;
  • WeBSurg’s web-based Virtual University, gathering more than 320,000 members.

It is rather incredible that a private insurer in health care would have such an exciting vision for tomorrow’s treatment strategies and would take the initiative to set up specific training programs in the field of innovative technologies for the benefit of patients.

Edson De Godoy Bueno’s outstanding career

Son of a truck driver, Edson De Godoy Bueno, board member of UnitedHealth group, decided to become a doctor at the age of 14. Even before the end of his medical studies, he acquired his first hospital. The following year, in 1972, he founded the Amil Health Trust Fund, which was soon to become the most important health trust in Brazil. In 2012, to support its ongoing development, Amil was rebought by the American UnitedHealth Group specialized in health care insurance.

The IRCAD’s international development

After the creation of IRCAD France in 1994, the opening of IRCAD Taiwan in 2008, of IRCAD America Latina in the State of São Paulo in 2011, the Institute takes a new step forward with the creation of a fourth branch in Rio de Janeiro. This new agreement aims to strengthen the position of the IRCAD as a world leader in the field of medical imaging, surgical research, and education in novel minimally invasive surgical techniques. Along with the largest health insurance company in the United States, this partnership testifies to the recognition of French excellence in the field of medicine and surgery, truly embodied by IRCAD.


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COVID19: IRCAD sanitary measures & health pass

Please note that the IRCAD administrative board and staff are closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation, in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in France. The health, safety, and well-being of our participants, experts and staff are our top priority!
Despite the current context, the IRCAD stands firmly by your side to help you acquire knowledge and skills. Come and join us !

We would like to draw your attention that the « Vaccine Pass » is now mandatory in France since end of January 2022 and replaces the former « Health Pass » to access places that are open to the public, such as cinemas, museums, cafés and restaurants, hotels as well as the IRCAD Institute which welcomes participants in the framework of its courses and seminars. Thus, a PCR test without vaccination is no longer sufficient to take part in our courses.

The vaccine pass includes a proof of the following (one of the 3 items is sufficient):

  • The vaccination certificate, proving that persons have a complete vaccination (as of January 15, 2022, all persons aged 18 and over must receive a booster dose no more than 7 months after their last injection or Covid infection to receive a valid vaccination pass. As of February 15, 2022, the time limits for keeping the pass will be reduced, you will have to do your booster dose 4 months and no longer 7 months after your 2nd dose to have a complete vaccine schedule and maintain a valid vaccine pass)
  • The result of a positive RT-PCR or antigenic test attesting to the recovery of Covid, more than 11 days and less than 4 months
  • The certificate of contraindication to vaccination

Further information about the new vaccine pass can be found at :

We very much hope to be able to count on your kind understanding of those rules which have been set by the French Government and which our Institute is required to apply