After a scandal involving doctors from the state center of the Mobile Emergency Care Service (Samu), which operates in Porto Alegre and serves 269 municipalities in Rio Grande do Sul, the state government of Eduardo Leite (PSDB) removed the director of regulation from the State Secretariat of Health (SES), Eduardo Elsade. During the announcement, made at a press conference this Wednesday (30), at Expointer, the state secretary of Health, Arita Bergmann, said that the state government intends to outsource the service.
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The case was revealed on Sunday (27), in a journalistic investigation by GZH broadcast on Fantástico, on Rede Globo. According to the investigation, doctors in the unit responsible for serving the population and sending ambulances would be working less than they should, which compromises emergency care for patients. On average, for every 100 hours of work, doctors do not work 60 hours, but are paid for the full workload.
The Secretary of Health said that the state government received information about the complaint through an employee at the Samu Regulation Center only after he was called by the press for an interview, on Wednesday (23). A syndicate committee was installed on Friday (25) by the SES and will forward a request for the Civil Police (PC) to analyze possible crimes. Afterwards, the process must go to the State Public Ministry (MPE-RS). On Monday (28), Arita Bergmann said that the government will install security cameras to monitor the work of doctors at the Samu center.
Governor Eduardo Leite (PSDB) released a video on social media, after the press conference, stating that he feels “total and deep indignation” and that he is directing the investigation, correction and punishment of those who committed the crimes. He also highlighted that the complainant chose to reveal the case to the press instead of reporting it to the state government.
A report this Thursday (31) from GZH states, however, that Samu nurse Cleiton Felix contacted the office of the vice-governor, Gabriel Souza, in April to inform him that work schedule binges were taking place. The statement was made by the nurse himself and contradicts the government’s discourse.
In a statement, the vice-governor’s office confirmed that the case was reported informally by the server, but that it instructed him to formalize the complaint, which would have happened. The Secretary of Health said that she was not informed of the irregularities by the vice-governor’s office.
“Scale of the scale”
One of the sources for the report, former Samu nurse Cleiton Félix, said that after 7pm there would be a shift in the sector. What he called “the scale of the scale” would be a pact between professionals who agree to work a shorter shift. The service’s former radio operator confirmed the practice.
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Evidence was pointed out that the head of the Samu center irregularly paid absences on the payroll. The allegation was a “problem with time clock marking”. According to sources, the situation resulted in great harm to the population. According to them, the center responds to around 70,000 distress calls per month.
In one of the cases investigated, an elderly patient with lung cancer waited for an ambulance for more than an hour, after calling reporting intense pain. She ended up dying on the way to the hospital. When Samu was called, only one of the three doctors scheduled for the appointment was present.
For the government, the solution is to outsource
During the press conference, Arita Bergmann spoke about the idea of outsourcing Samu’s service. According to her, the government is considering hiring a company to regulate calls to 192, which are answered at the state center located in Porto Alegre. The secretary did not detail how many doctors will be outsourced, how many will replace other professionals or will join the current Samu team.
PT bench appeals to the MP
The PT bench in the Legislative Assembly of RS sent the State Public Prosecutor’s Office a statement of fact to highlight the responsibilities of the public agents who allowed employees at the Samu center not to fulfill the working hours stipulated in the contracts. Deputy Miguel Rossetto, representing PT deputies, handed the document to the MP’s secretary general, Gilmar Possa Maroneze.
In a note, the bench says that it considers what happened to be a disregard for the health of the people of Rio Grande do Sul and that the deputies will monitor the developments of the investigation. According to deputy Rosseto, “a true crime against public health was revealed and confirms the Leite government’s inability to manage”. For him “a quick and rigorous investigation is necessary, which highlights the responsibility of each person involved”.
Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul
Editing: Marcelo Ferreira