Bolsonaro decree authorizes economic team to prepare privatization model for healthcare units – Small Businesses Large Businesses


The President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro (Photo: Alan Santos / PR)

A decree published on Tuesday in the official diary authorizes the economic team to prepare a privatization model for basic health units (UBS). The measure included the policy to promote the primary health care sector within the scope of Investment Partnership Program (PPI) gives Presidency of the Republic.

The decree provides for the “elaboration of studies of alternative partnerships with the private sector for the construction, modernization and operation of Basic Health Units in the States, the Federal District and the Municipalities.” The measure was viewed with suspicion by some local managers, who saw in the measure a trend towards privatization of the units.

The text states that, initially, the measure will allow the structuring of pilot projects, whose selection will be established in an act of the Special Secretariat of the Investment Partnerships Program of the Ministry of Economy. GLOBO questioned the Ministry of Economy about the measure and the ministry confirmed that the measure intends to promote privatization in the sector:

“The objective is to allow the construction of an institutional arrangement for the structuring of partnership projects with the private sector aimed at federated entities. In this sense, the PPI will work with the Ministry of Health and the BNDES in the definition of guidelines for the elaboration of this type project, to later select federated entities (municipalities or public consortia) that show interest in these partnerships in the health sector “, he said.

The Ministry of Economy argues that “the main point of the project is to find solutions for the significant number of Basic Health Units that are unfinished or that are not operating in the country”. The portfolio also assured that the conduct of public policy will continue to be the responsibility of the Ministry of Health. Health was also consulted by the report, but has not yet responded.

– We are working hand in hand with the Ministry of Health and the BNDES to expand partnerships in the health sector. We are aware of the challenge of bringing more infrastructure and quality services to several municipalities in Brazil and we believe that the PPP model will be key to achieving the results that the population so deserves, ”said the PPI Special Secretary, Martha Seillier.

The measure was met with suspicion among municipal and student managers. The National Council of Municipal Health Secretariats (Conasems) said it asked the Ministry of Health for an explanatory note on the measure.

‘Strange’ Decree

The president of the National Council of Health Secretaries (Conass), who represents the state secretaries, Carlos Eduardo Lula, considered that the measure promotes a complete change from the current model. According to him, the topic will be discussed at the next board meeting.

– It is crazy to have a decree from the Ministry of Economy to talk about primary care. This model is very strange, because it seems to be a PPP (public-private partnership), but it is not clear. This PPP only makes sense in large works and not in small works as is the case of a UBS. UBS in theory is not profitable to generate investment on the part of the company to do this— analyzes Lula, complementing:

– The meaning of PPP is for the company to build because the state does not have the resources to do so and it manages because it will, in theory, make a profit during a certain period of time. Obviously this happens in the case of hospitals, but in the case of UBS it makes no sense, because the work is small, needs few resources, and, second, does not generate revenue. It’s a weird business and without the participation of the Ministry of Health, which makes it even weirder. It is very strange.


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