Thousands of patients are waiting for elective surgeries through SUS in Brazil
The Covid pandemic has exacerbated a historic problem in Brazil’s health: the waiting list for surgeries.
Self-employed Deise Lima de Almeida ended up in a wheelchair after a knee injury. For more than a year she has been waiting for an operation through the SUS, which, according to the doctor, should be urgent.
“He said I would face limitations for the delay because my knee healed incorrectly,” Deise says.
Farmer Charles Jardel Brooke da Silva began waiting in 2019. He needs an artificial joint. At the age of 32, he stopped farm work due to pain and limited mobility.
“They call me for consultations, but only for consultations. There is nothing to be done, ”says the farmer.
Ninety-one thousand people await surgeries performed by SUS in Rio Grande do Sul. The queue for the first appointment with specialists is even larger: up to 309 thousand. The state will invest R$50 million to try to reduce waiting time for patients. A cooperation agreement with the Court of Justice released 94 million Brazilian riyals to conduct surgeries, consultations and examinations for cancer patients.
“We have contracted, hospitals have begun to implement the procedures and we have already had some positive results,” explains Republika Srpska Minister of Health Arita Bergman.
Consequences of the Covid pandemic
This long wait is a result of what hospitals have been through in the past three years. For several periods, elective surgeries have been postponed because the attention has been from medical teams focusing exclusively on Covid patients. Today, the supply of procedures is very small relative to the amount of demand.
In the Parana200,000 people are waiting for elective surgeries. To ease this demand for dams, the Ministry of Health has created a program that provides for the transfer of R$600 million. States must develop a care priority plan to receive the money.
It is the hope of housewife Raquel dos Santos Ferreira, from Tocantins, who has been waiting for three years to have two hernias removed.
“It doesn’t bother me if I don’t do anything, but since I have three kids to raise, I need to do my own thing as a housewife, so it hurts all the time,” Raquel says.
In Goiás, the field of orthopedics is in greatest demand. More than 6,700 people are awaiting the procedures. With a curvature of the spine, 10-year-old Sofia was recommended an operation in July last year. The mother hopes that the queue will now move forward.
“It’s very hard for me to see her in this situation, in pain, not sleeping at night, being held up at school because she can’t even write that she’s in pain anymore. She sits all the time, even in an adapted chair,” explains her mother, Silvana. Vega.
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