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Paula Litaiff e Gabriel Abreu – From Cenarium Magazine
In Brazil, the mayor of the Amazonas’ capital, David Almeida, suspended, in January this year, the health plan of more than 40 thousand civil servants of the Manaus City Hall for urgent and emergency care in the only hospital that attended to patients for the two types of procedures. The information was confirmed at the Manaus City Hall and Hospital Check UP.
The measure may have contributed to aggravating the cases of civil servants and dependents infected by the new coronavirus in the period from January to February this year, who were unable to attend public hospitals. At the time, cemeteries recorded more than 200 deaths per day, with Covid-19 as the cause.
In Manaus, the daily average of infected by Covid-19 remains high, around 300 people, according to data from the Health Surveillance Foundation (FVS / AM). The capital has more than 2 million inhabitants and was the first city to experience the “second wave” of the new virus in the country.
The number of municipal employees in Manaus, which has no health insurance for hospital cases, represents the number of employees who have joined the accreditation of Manausmed, folder that takes care of health care. Segundo os servidores, apesar da suspensão do atendimento, o desconto do plano é feito “rigorosamente” nos contracheques.
Despite being public, information about the lack of urgent and emergency care for Manaus City Hall servers has been avoided by the Board of Hospital Check UP, the only emergency room that served the servers until last year.
Sought for a week by the report in the Cenarium Magazine, Check UP reported that it will not comment on the matter formally. At the hospital, employees talk about delays in the transfer of the agreement that should be made by the Manaus City Hall with the authorization of Mayor David Almeida.
The Manausmed website also contains information that the Check UP hospital serves urgent and emergency servers. Afraid of retaliation, the servers also did not allow photos.
The absence of a health plan for the Manaus City Hall servers worsened the attendance at public hospitals, which registered queues for Intensive Care Units (ICUs) with more than 400 people waiting in first two months of the year, taking the Secretariat State of Health (SES) to transfer patients to other States.
In Manaus, there are currently 500 patients hospitalized with Covid, 237 in clinical beds, 254 in the ICU, and nine in the red room. There are also 57 other hospitalized patients considered to be suspicious and awaiting confirmation of the diagnosis. Of these, 44 are in clinical beds, 11 are in the ICU, and two in the red room.
The FVS-AM bulletin, also shows that there are another 160 patients hospitalized with Covid-19 in the state’s interior, as informed by the Amazonas State Department of Health (SES-AM). There are 18 in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and 142 in clinical beds.
‘Pay or die’
The wife of a retired civil servant from the Municipal Infrastructure Secretariat (Seminf) – who preferred not to identify himself – had to pay R$ 50 thousand to a private hospital after receiving the denial from the hospital accredited by the Manaus City Hall to be treated during illness.
“My family had to make a quota and we got the money to pays for the hospital. I either paid or died because had the new strain of the new coronavirus (P1). Despite this, every month the amount of the plan was deducted from my husband’s paycheck. We intend to file a lawsuit against the municipality of Manaus for reimbursement of the amount we spent”, declared the housewife.
Questioned, the Municipal Administration Secretariat (Semad) – which manages Manausmed – informed that the process of contracting hospitals that offer urgent and emergency care for adults and children is being finalized and promised to return the service in 30 days.
Waiting for surgeries
In addition to emergency room visits, elective surgeries, too, are paralyzed for Manausmed servers. An employee who, in order not to suffer reprisals, preferred not to be identified, reported that he is looking for surgery and was unable to perform the procedure.
“In January, at the height of the second wave, I sought service and didn’t get any because Manausmed didn’t have any network accredited. We work and we only want our guaranteed right, since every month is deducted from the paycheck. I have already had to postpone the surgery twice, because the city does not cover the service need to do,” detailed the indignant server.
Target of CPI Covid-19
The mayor of Manaus, David Almeida, is the only mayor of Brazil who entered the target of Covid’s Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI), made official on April 19 in Congress. The commission’s work plan foresees to call at least six ministers or ex-ministers of the Jair Bolsonaro government to explain the pandemic in the country
A preliminary version of the script, prepared by members of the collegiate, also cites the need to hear secretaries from the Ministry of Health, authorities responsible for the area of communication, and governors. Besides, ex-Minister of Health Eduardo Pazuello, the initial list of authorities to be heard includes ex-number 2 in the portfolio, Colonel Élcio Franco.
Former Army Commander, Edson Pujol, too will be called upon to explain the chloroquine production by the laboratory linked to the Armed Forces. The medicament, with no proven efficacy against Covid-19, started to be produced on a larger scale.