A series of actions aimed at Santas Casas and philanthropic hospitals to face the covid-19 was announced by the state and federal spheres. Although they are emergency measures, the fact is that philanthropic institutions in the State of São Paulo, the epicenter of the disease in the country, are still waiting for help.
On March 31, the state government announced the release of R $ 100 million for 377 Santas Casas and small philanthropic or municipal hospitals. The resource is essential for our hospitals to be able to help fight the disease, but we still await the monthly amount of R $ 25 million that the government offered to send.
Fulfilling the mission of being the largest partner of the Unified Health System (SUS), attending to more than 50% of its demand, philanthropic hospitals are already hospitalizing patients from covid-19 even with the pending bed fee amounting to R $ 1,600 to be released by the Ministry of Health. On the other hand, the Federation of Santas Casas and Beneficent Hospitals of the State of São Paulo (Fehosp) pleaded in State Secretariat of Health the equalization of the daily rate for philanthropic institutions with that of private hospitals, which, according to the folder, should receive R $ 2,500 per day of hospitalization, which we also expect.
We represent around 28 thousand beds for the SUS and almost 3 thousand ICU beds. In the State, we offered 953 new ICU beds, but the Ministry of Health only qualified 117. Until May 13, São Paulo philanthropic hospitals had 713 ICU patients and 1,178 people infected with the new coronavirus in wards. In Greater São Paulo, these institutions already work with more than 80% of their occupation, but no announced resources have arrived.
It will be undesirable, from all points of view, in this difficult time of the pandemic, to see the health network having the services atrophied due to insufficiency of the philanthropic network, which with more than 50% of SUS care has been the mainstay of health care in the city. population.
Another delicate fact concerns the front line professionals, who are living in a critical situation with regard to their protection, but still continue to provide care to patients. The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals has been recorded by the Brazilian Medical Association, which has already received 3,400 complaints of this type. The most common reports are the lack of protective masks (86%), facial protectors (68%) and surgical gowns (65%). More than 1/3 of the total denunciations are from the State of São Paulo.
The shortage makes the teams improvise in order not to interrupt the service, but with this the chances of contagion increase. According to the São Paulo government, by April 17, approximately 1,500 health professionals had been infected and were away from work. With increasing cases of covid-19, crowded ICUs and health professionals having to move away, we are getting closer and closer to the edge of the precipice.
In this sense, it is necessary to renew here the requests already made both to the State Department of Health and the Ministry of Health, so that they send PPE to philanthropic hospitals with the utmost urgency. Donations received by the state government can also cover philanthropic hospitals, which are always partners in SUS care.
Philanthropic entities always work in the red, as the values passed on by SUS have been out of date for almost two decades. Now, in the face of one of the biggest, if not the biggest, health crises, it only gets worse. Even so, these institutions go to great lengths to provide the best possible service. But, as the popular saying goes, a swallow just doesn’t make a summer. It is necessary to provide conditions for Santas Casas and philanthropic hospitals to work.
* PRESIDENT OF FEHOSP
Escalation of covid-19 cases in refrigerators