Viagra case serves to point out the explosion in the use of funds from the

Charges for explanations, jokes and memes set the tone for reactions to the news that the Ministry of Defense had approved the purchase of 35,320 Viagra pills for the Army, Navy and Air Force. The substance is known to treat cases of erectile dysfunction. The case, however, should serve as an “opportunity” to address a serious matter. The finding is from economist Francisco Funcia, consultant to the Budget and Financing Commission (Cofin) of the National Health Council (CNS) and vice president at the Brazilian Health Economics Association.

Funcia is one of the authors of a study that points out that the use of resources from the Unified Health System (SUS) by the Ministry of Defense hit a record in the government of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL). The information is contained in a document released by the CNS in February this year. Click here to download the document in full.

:: Defense invests in Viagra and internet does not forgive; deputies suspect overbilling ::

“The Viagra case is a good opportunity to bring up the debate. The disclosure of this issue that attracted more attention allows us to raise some questions”, said Funcia, in an interview with Brazil de facto. “In the bulletin, we observe the growth that the decentralization of health expenditures is being carried out by the Ministry of Defense”, he declared.

According to the report produced by the economist, in 2019 the annual amount of SUS funds directed to the health of the military reached R$ 350 million. Two years later, in 2021, the figure reached R$ 355 million, breaking again the record of the historical series, from 2013 to 2021.

During the administration of President Dilma Rousseff (PT), the annual average use of SUS resources by the military was R$ 88 million, considering the period analyzed, from 2013 to 2015. Under the command of Michel Temer (MDB), the amount had already taken a leap, with an average of R$ 245.5 million per year.

:: Far beyond Viagra: use of SUS resources by the military soared with Bolsonaro ::

Funcia’s survey was published in a publication on the evolution of federal expenditures in the Unified Health System, produced by the CNS, an agency that brings together representatives of civil society and public authorities.

The study also had the participation of Rodrigo Benevides, Master in Collective Health by the Institute of Social Medicine of UERJ. The numbers were collected on the SigaBrasil platform and show the “explosion” of funds from the SUS to the Ministry of Defense.

The agency is second only to the Ministry of Education, which has a network of university hospitals across the country. In the same period, however, there was a drop in funds received by the MEC.

Evolution of Defense expenditure with resources from the Ministry of Health:

Evolution of MEC expenses with resources from the Ministry of Health:

The report also points out that the Ministry of Defense spent more than BRL 150 million in SUS funds on expenses that are not linked to public health, such as repairing planes and purchasing equipment for Armed Forces offices abroad.

“This brings us to the need for an audit of these expenditures, which are being carried out in a decentralized manner by other units of the federal government. It would need to be seen, in the light of the law, if they meet all the requirements that the legislation establishes as public service actions. of health, especially that is directed to actions of universal access, and not only directed to a specific public”, explains Funcia.

Is it possible to look at the “Viagra case” in a more profound way?

The discussion goes beyond a simplification of Viagra or the penile prosthesis. Of course, these things have a symbolic effect. However, the health area, in the case of Viagra, points to its use in treatments. There is a central issue that I think we need to delve into. The case of Viagra is a good opportunity to bring up the debate. The disclosure of this issue that attracted the most attention allows us to raise some questions.

What did the CNS bulletin anticipate about this debate on the expenditure of health resources by the military?

We had already raised that there are a series of expenses that are considered as actions of public health services, defined by Complementary Law 141, those services of universal access, without closed or specific clientele, which are being computed for the calculation of the minimum federal application in health. This needs to be questioned, it needs to be audited by the SUS National Audit Department (DenaSUS).

What are the expenditures that do not seem to be directed towards public health?

We are putting this because there are expenses with aircraft fuel from military units abroad. There are expenses that were for the fight against covid-19, for example, that were for parts and equipment for aircraft, and even for military command offices and structures that are based abroad. We even observe the growth that the decentralization of health expenditures by the Ministry of Defense has had.

What actions can be taken in the face of evidence of improper expenditure of health resources?

This leads us to the need for an audit of these expenditures, which are being carried out in a decentralized manner by other units of the federal government. It would need to see, in the light of the law, if they meet all the requirements that the legislation establishes as actions of public health services, especially that it is directed to actions of universal access, and not only directed to a specific public.

Editing: Felipe Mendes

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She's our PC girl, so anything is up to her. She is also responsible for the videos of Play Crazy Game, as well as giving a leg in the news.

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