Ceará had a reduction of 504,274 elective outpatient medical procedures by the Unified Health System (SUS) between 2019 and 2020. The 21% decrease was observed by the Federal Council of Medicine (CFM), which compared the period between March and December 2019 and compared to 2020.
The reduction is related to the Covid-19 pandemic, when primary public health care turned to fighting the coronavirus, not just in Ceará, but in Brazil as a whole.
- Performing elective surgeries gradually returns in Ceará
- Average deaths by Covid-19 in Ceará is lower since December 2020
In Ceará, consultations in polyclinics also reduced, according to IntegraSUS, the platform of the State Health Department (Sesa), when compared to the same periods of the survey carried out by the CFM. In 2019, there were 310,606 consultations in the 20 state units, while 2020 recorded 236,105 consultations.
The CMF attributes the reduction to restrictions on access to hospitals, the restriction of beds for Covid-19 treatment and the fear of patients to seek medical help due to the pandemic.
In Brazil, the aspects caused by the pandemic caused a drop of 27 million exams, surgeries and other elective procedures – unplanned or not considered urgent and emergency.
“One of the measures to confront covid-19, recognized nationally and internationally, was the suspension of elective procedures in order to preserve personal protective equipment, preserve beds and prevent the collapse of the SUS and consequent lack of care for patients infected with the new coronavirus ”, comments Mauro Ribeiro, president of CFM.
The negative impact on medical care in public clinics was more drastic during the first two months after the decree of public calamity. In April and May of last year, the pandemic halved the elective care offered by the most diverse medical specialties.