Today (23) the Federal Supreme Court (STF) began deciding whether states are required to pay for patient care in private hospitals based on the SUS’ cost schedule or according to private sector-mandated values. . The case relates to judicial decisions limiting hospitalization due to the lack of vacancies in the public network.
At today’s session, Rapporteur Minister Luis Roberto Barroso read out the process report, and the parties’ oral arguments were heard. The trial is expected to resume next week.
The case reached the Supreme Court via an appeal filed by the Federal District. In the Federal Court of Justice, the health care provider won the right not to reimburse based on the SUS schedule and to charge the amount it deems appropriate to hospitalize the patient in an ICU bed. Hospitalization was determined by the court.
The attorney general’s office argued that the collection of medical expenses must follow the SUS schedule, as happens with private institutions that have agreements with the local public network and receive patients from public hospitals.
The Deputy Prosecutor of the Republic, Humberto Jacques de Medeiros, manifested the charge according to the schedule. However, he held that private hospitals should get better fees for services, but could not charge the price they wanted, thus promoting health rationing.
“The SUS schedule is sustainable and this path, in my view, does not transform private healthcare into a system that could, in a predatory way, exacerbate the dismantling of the public health system,” he said.
The case has general implications, that is, the decision must be followed by the entire judiciary in the country.
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