Support for SUS and pandemic prevention does not exist in government plans, study finds

***FILE***SÃO PAULO, SP, 04.07.2018 - Corridor of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Santa Casa de São Paulo, which is part of the project employed by the Ministry of Health in partnership with l Sírio-Libanês Hospital.  (Photo: Joel Silva/Folhapress)

***FILE***SÃO PAULO, SP, 04.07.2018 – Corridor of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Santa Casa de São Paulo, which is part of the project employed by the Ministry of Health in partnership with l Sírio-Libanês Hospital. (Photo: Joel Silva/Folhapress)

SÃO PAULO, SP (FOLHAPRESS) – Candidates vying for the second round of elections barely mention actions to support the SUS (Unified Health System), assist people with long-term Covid and prevent future epidemics.

The analysis, by researchers from the Solidarity Research Network, USP’s Department of Political Science and the Covid-19 BR Observatory, compared the government plans of the two presidential candidates, current President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and the former president. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) and candidates for state governments regarding health policies.

The note also compared each of the topics with what is considered ideal by experts – for example, increasing the number of public laboratories trained to carry out surveillance of emerging diseases.

Other policies rarely or not mentioned are access to drugs to treat severe Covid cases, such as Paxlovid, and the resumption of services that have been blocked during the pandemic. The priority for vaccination is mentioned only in the government plans of Lula and Haddad.

As a result, scientists have seen that 3 of the 6 points analyzed are included in the plan of Lula’s government, although some actions do not present details on how to carry them out. Bolsonaro does not cite any of the six points in his platform.

In the comparison between the states, although they analyzed the 12 states that will have a second round, the researchers only included in the note the proposals of the candidates in São Paulo because they are the most contrasting. The candidate Fernando Haddad (PT), former mayor of São Paulo, included 5 of the 6 planned actions, while Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicans), former minister of the Bolsonaro government, presented only 2 of 6.

For Lorena Barberia, researcher in the Department of Political Science at USP and first author of the study, the almost total absence of actions to prevent epidemics and to take care of Covid clashes with the global consensus. “If an alien came today and landed in Brazil, it would feel like we haven’t experienced anything in the pandemic. This is an election in which most plans don’t offer to think about the best way to ‘avoid a future epidemic’, he says.

Still according to her, the absence in government plans at both national and state level of actions to strengthen the SUS and to resume curbed care reflects a historic lack of health as a priority agenda in the political debate. . “It is important to stress that, despite the SUS, it was not enough in the pandemic to face the challenges and problems. The lack of investments and policies in this sector will create even more difficulties in the years to come. come, no matter what government is elected,” he reflects.

One of the authors of the study, Tatiane Moraes, also a researcher at Fiocruz, reinforces this point of view. “If we don’t have a proposal, that’s like saying we haven’t learned any lessons [com a pandemia]that the answer was good, which is not true,” he says.

The researchers cite some of the points that require particular attention, such as the acquisition and prioritization of vaccination campaigns against Covid, the cut in the health budget this year compared to the first two years of the pandemic and the lack of coordinated action to resume medical care. care. “The pandemic put pressure on all services, the number of preventable deaths in Brazil was enormous, and this is not reflected in the government’s plans,” says Moraes.

In the case of care, there remains an aggravating factor, which is the exhaustion of the health teams, who not only suffered psychologically, but also had a reduction in the number of professionals, many affected by the Covid itself.

The note also highlights Haddad’s government plan, which is the only one to mention, in detail, a plan for prioritizing surveillance actions for future emergencies, with articulation between the health, science and science secretariats. technology and research institutions.


The report searched the press offices of the Bolsonaro and Lula campaigns.

That of the current President of the Republic did not respond to the report until the publication of this text.

The voice of the former president was expressed through a note. Regarding the articulation, he said that the Ministry of Health will again coordinate the national health system, strengthening the single management by the three spheres of government.

With regard to epidemiological surveillance, Lula’s plan provides for the creation of a national network for the control and surveillance of diseases and health emergencies, the strengthening of the existing network (VigiAR) and partnerships with States, municipalities, institutes of research and public laboratories.

Regarding the management of serious cases and deaths, he indicated that he will organize access to health services and hospital services of the SUS, in addition to the training of primary care teams. As for the prioritization of vaccination, the idea announced is to recover high vaccination coverage, including four doses of vaccine against Covid greater than 95%.

Competitors from the São Paulo government have also come forward with a note.

Tarcísio’s campaign said it plans to create a center for disease control and quality of care and implement a system for monitoring and combating epidemics and pandemics. This, he added, will require investing in replacing outdated technologies, computerizing data collection services and encouraging the qualification of service providers.

Regarding vaccines, which he defined as “one of the most cost-effective interventions in public health”, he promised to carry out campaigns and make available to the population all the vaccines included in the National Vaccination Program (NIBP).

For the management of the health system, the former campaign minister indicated that he will take steps to convince and build “cooperative regionalization in the State, renegotiate funding with the Union and the municipalities” and that it wants to multiply assistance networks and improve regional coordination, focusing on primary care and family health.

Haddad’s campaign said it intends to agree with municipalities in January on actions such as joint efforts and investments in telehealth to speed up access to consultations, exams and surgeries contained during the pandemic. In addition, he specifies that in the first months, he will restructure access to specialized care.

The former mayor’s plan also includes the intention to set up 70 day hospitals (including 60 in the countryside), to establish partnerships between state and municipal networks, university hospitals and Santas Casas and to put set up a regional transport system to care for patients and their companions.

As for the management of the system, the PT campaign said that partnership with cities will come through institutional support and investment in the training and education of municipal management and assistance teams. He also mentioned, among other things, the ideas of progressive enhancement of the public base of basic care and co-financing of the Samu.

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