By Fiona Hurrell, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Minister of Health Alexandre Padilha made a routine visit to the Miguel Couto hospital in Gávea on Friday, February 24th in order to monitor the ongoing development brought about by Ministry funds to improve the level of emergency care throughout Brazil.
Pleased with the evident progress already underway, Padilha commended the Hospital and indicated that further, structural improvements were to follow.
Padilha stated; “This is our second visit to Miguel Couto, and already we noticed an improvement in emergency care.”
The combined contribution of both the federal Health Ministry and the local Prefeitura amasses to R$3.6 million in equipment and staff and a further R$12 million for the construction of an emergency unit and a second Intensive Care Unit.
These funds come at the right time as Rio is on high alert for a possible outbreak of dengue fever which has increased in the city during the hot and humid summer months.
The health Minister remains confident that the hospitals are more than equipped to administer treatment to dengue victims stating “We have trained professionals to deal with the epidemic, and we are creating centers of hydration. Despite recording a very large number of [dengue cases], Rio [has not suffered] a death from dengue since August last year, the longest period in history. ”
The funding is welcome news, as in October last year, nearly 100,000 doctors and health professionals of the Unified Health System (SUS) in 21 states across Brazil protested against low pay and poor working conditions. Surgeries, examinations and consultations were largely suspended, with only the emergency room remaining open.
Read more (in Portuguese)
* The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with major news as it happens