The former Health Minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, was at the Medical School of the Universidade de São Paulo, on June 23rd of 2020, answering to an invitation for a gathering with professors and directors of the “House of Arnaldo”. The orthopedic doctor and former federal deputy by the state of Mato Grosso spoke about public health in Brazil, the importance of the Unified Health System and several other issues involving the pandemic and the new coronavirus.
Luiz Henrique Mandetta approached the yearly pandemic in Wuhan, China, and in other nations, the reality of the pandemic in the world and in Brazil and highlighted “each Brazilian state is in a different situation, as if they were completely different countries”.
The former minister didn’t discard the adoption of a lockdown in different areas of Brazil to combat the virus infection. “there are states in which the curve is still rising. There is the intense transmission phase, which is still manageable, but then there is the disorganized transmission, that needs stricter rules, that is why the local decisions are important”, explains Mandetta.
About the numbers of Covid-19 in Brazil, the doctor stated, “the collective press interviews at the end of the afternoon were a great ally to keep the population informed, by the prevalence of transparency”.
The former minister proposed a pro-SUS (Unified Health System) movement involving issues such as the population getting to know how to use the system, the regulating of undergraduation and graduation for the people who will be the workforce of the system, the discussion of the concept of equity to allocate resources to those who need it more. “Thus, The Unified Health System would be strengthened, since today only 7% of Brazilians have health insurance”, emphasized Mandetta.
Prof. Tarcisio Eloy Pessoa de Barros Filho, Director of FMUSP, said “there was never so much talk about health as it does now” and highlighted the work of a group in the School which have been discussing the issues that will arise after the pandemic. “The goal is to focus in the health and not the disease, mainly, at the basic attention”, highlighted the Director. Prof. Tarcisio invited Luiz Henrique Mandetta for a next gathering to debate the facing of the post Covid-19.
Luiz Henrique Mandetta thanked the support of the medical class and reiterated “the trust of the scientific academy represented by the Universidade de São Paulo”. He completed by saying “Brazil will only get out of this crisis with the contribution of science”.
The former minister declared he will write a book about the pandemic in the country and his experience in the frontline of the combat of Covid-19. He compared the current disease with the Spanish flu and said there were few accounts about that period.
Lastly, Prof. Tarcisio E.P. de Barros gave a replica of the bust of Dr. Arnaldo de Vieira, the founder of FMUSP and whose centenary of death is remembered in this month of June.