The Unified Health System (SUS)one of the achievements of social movements, is one of the greatest mechanisms for reducing health inequalities that Brazil has ever known.
For 30 years, SUS has played a major role in reducing infant mortality, preventable mortality, hospitalization, racial inequality in mortality, Inequality in access to primary care, In producing vaccines and immunizing the population, and distributing medicines at no cost, among other achievements.
Since its inception, SUS funding has not been ideal to allow for the universality stipulated in the Constitution.
Setting the spending cap in 2016 posed even greater difficulties. A study published in the Lancet Journal in 2019 estimated that spending cap Not only could it reverse the achievements of the SUS, but the setback would be greater in the most vulnerable regions, which would increase regional health disparities. What was an appreciation became a reality.
The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil has found SUS to be severely underfunded. The poor performance of the federal government in responding to the pandemic has exacerbated the situation. However, had it not been for the SUS, more than 662 thousand people would have been lost.
Everyone’s business drives a complex healthcare machine (which includes concierge, triage, security, transportation, laundry, cleaning, cooking, medical care, lab tests, nursing, surgery, etc.) Many lost their lives.
The reality of SUS is beautifully depicted in the documentary When Air Is Missing. Produced by sisters Anna and Helena Petta, The documentary was the winner of It’s All True27. The International Documentary Film Festival is the most important award of its kind in Latin America.
Death, which has been so constant during the pandemic, is a theme found in the documentary. However, the genius of the work lies in bringing the daily lives of SUS workers during the pandemic, knowing how to listen and care, empathy and solidarity, gestures of affection, and the courage to face fear despite emotional exhaustion.
By demonstrating the challenges of serving the riverside population of the Amazon, ICU routine, Working in the prison unit and the routine of community health staff and family doctors, the documentary exposes a reality that is overlooked by a part of the Brazilian population.
When There’s No Air is a human account of the triumph of a health system that rows upstream to save lives, it is a work of art and social consciousness. A must see for anyone interested in Brazil.
While vaccinating against Covid-19, he was SUS support features With posters, statements and honorary publications of vaccination cards on social networks. This support must continue.
Criticism, so common in SUS before the pandemic, must become demands of the community so that leaders prioritize healthcare with justice, thus strengthening the SUS. Criticism without seeking change is useless.
As family health physician Raffaella Pacheco said in the documentary When Air Is Missing, “SUS is state policy, not government policy.” Bad governments come and go. It causes setbacks. But SUS will prevail. Otherwise, 160 million people in Brazil would not have access to health care.
You may not forget the importance of SUS during a pandemic, despite the difficulties. And that the need for a comprehensive and high-quality health system in Brazil is a priority in the electoral choices in October.
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