The Sergipe Public Prosecutor’s Office, through the Consumer Protection Public Prosecutor’s Office, managed to guarantee, through the Judiciary Branch, the right to cancer treatment within the State to patients using Unimed. The 2nd Civil Chamber of the Sergipe Court of Justice (TJSE) dismissed the appeal filed by Unimed and upheld the 1st degree sentence that had already accepted the requests made by the MP in Public Civil Action. Thus, the company is prohibited from relocating its cancer patients to perform procedures in another Federation Unit – unless the treatment in question is more beneficial to the user.
Several complaints from cancer patients have reached the MP since 2018, alleging the lack of assistance from Unimed’s health plan in the local network, mainly in radiotherapy treatment. As found during the hearings held in the course of the process, when the machines at the Surgery Hospital – with which Unimed maintains an agreement – broke down, patients from Sergipe were moved to the states of Bahia or Alagoas to be able to continue treatment.
In view of the situation and the disorders found in the patients, the MP filed a Public Civil Action in front of the health plan operator, requesting that the treatment be guaranteed to its users within the State of Sergipe, whether in an accredited network of the operator or not. In addition, the MP asked Unimed to bear all the costs of treating its users, when this is not done in an accredited network; and a daily fine of R $ 2,000, limited to 30 days, for each patient who fails to obtain radiotherapy assistance in the local network. The MP’s requests were accepted by the Judiciary, in 1st and 2nd degrees.
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In the sentence handed down in the 1st grade, the magistrate José Pereira Neto considered: “This is a relationship guided, above all, by good faith. Services should generally be provided at the place where the beneficiary resides, especially when it is the place where the contract was made available. Ensuring normal treatment in the place where the patient is is part of the duties attached to the contract, known that the transfer to other states motivates several inconveniences to the patient and family, ”he pointed out in the process.
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Appeal Decision – Maintained the 1st degree sentence
Sentence – 1st Degree