Medical entities that prepared opinions for the Ministry of Health on treatment protocols in the pandemic criticize the delay of the ministry led by Marcelo Queiroga in deciding on banning the use of the “Covid kit” from SUS.
Led by the AMB (Brazilian Medical Association), the group demanded this Tuesday (9) that the ministry publish a protocol already approved that contraindicates the use of drugs such as hydroxychloroquine for hospitalized patients. In addition, it asks the folder to put the report that rejects the ineffective treatment in the first symptoms of the disease for public consultation.
“This subject is more or less like jabuticaba. Only here (in Brazil) is discussed. The subject is outdated around the world,” said the president of the AMB, César Eduardo Fernandes.
Debates about treatments in the public network are concentrated at Conitec (National Commission for the Incorporation of Technologies in the Unified Health System). On October 21, the collegiate had a tie in voting on an opinion contrary to the Covid kit for light cases, a document prepared by this group.
To avoid a heavy blow to the president’s denial banner, the Ministry of Health is trying to prevent the overthrow of pro-“kit Covid” guidelines. Five of the seven secretariats of the portfolio headed by Queiroga voted against the opinion made by medical entities.
So far the ministry has not put the text for public consultation. The text will then be voted on again. Afterwards, Health will still decide whether or not to follow Conitec’s position.
The commission has already approved barring this treatment to hospitalized patients. The opinion has been ready since June, but so far the Ministry of Health has not published the standard in the Official Gazette.
“We are greatly concerned by the length of time the matter is being dealt with,” said Fernandes.
In a press statement on Tuesday (9), the entities also criticized the position of the CFM (Federal Council of Medicine), which has a vote in Conitec and took a stand against the opinion.
“There is no one who does not defend medical autonomy. But it is autonomy to choose among the approved treatments”, said Irma de Godoy, president of the SBPT (Brazilian Society of Pneumonology).
The protocols for SUS treatments, discussed at Conitec and approved or not by the ministry, also guide public purchases. In other words, a document that bars the use of the “Covid kit” would allow supervisory bodies to question managers who still invest in these drugs.
In May 2020, Health issued a note encouraging the use of ineffective drugs, but the document is not a SUS protocol. For public network managers, the measure was a way, at the time, to promote ineffective treatment without having to go through Conitec.
Upon assuming the Ministry of Health, in March, Queiroga announced that he would promote the debate at Conitec to end the discussion on the use of the Covid kit.
He appointed physician and professor Carlos Carvalho, who is against ineffective drugs, to organize the group that would prepare the opinions.
Queiroga, however, has been modulating his speech and investing in the pocketbook agenda to cling to the position. He started to avoid the theme of the Covid kit, although he admits to colleagues that he sees no benefit in using these drugs.
The opinion prepared by the group of medical entities is under analysis for publication in a scientific journal.
For the members of the entity, it is “strange” that the Ministry of Health avoids accepting the positions of the entities.
“If the Ministry of Health institutes the committee, demands a task and votes against (the opinion), it loses the meaning of the existence of this committee. It is made up of notables, it is not just a corner or bar. It deserves all the respect”, said the president of the AMB.
“We have to bury, there is no reason to talk about chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine. They are already buried for their Covid treatment, because they are ineffective, do not work and can cause side effects”, said the president of the SBI (Brazilian Society of Infectology), Cóvis Arns da Cunha.