With almost 40% of beds closed, Ipsemg leaves patients in the corridors

With almost 40% of beds closed, Ipsemg leaves patients in the corridors
With almost 40% of beds closed, Ipsemg leaves patients in the corridors
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Patients are crowded on stretchers and chairs in the Ipsemg corridor | Photo: Video reproduction / Personal archive

Idle spaces contrast with the overcrowding of the corridors of Hospital Governador Israel Pinheiro (Ipsemg), in the Center-South region of Belo Horizonte. In the unit responsible for serving at least 840 thousand beneficiaries, of which 205 thousand live in the capital and metropolitan region, 39% of the beds are unavailable due to the lack of health professionals, according to the unit’s administration.

According to data provided by the institute, 168 of the 442 beds are closed due to a lack of nurses and nursing technicians. There are 849 professionals, a number lower than the 1,099 that would be needed for the hospital to operate in its entirety.

“There are three nursing technicians to care for more than 40 people, just in the emergency department”, reported the companion of a patient who is admitted to the unit with a diagnosis of pneumonia. As requested by her, her identity will be preserved — as she is afraid of having even more problems when she needs care for her family member at the health unit.

For her, patients are “abandoned” due to a lack of structure and assistance. “A woman, who is hospitalized sitting in a chair, lay down on the floor because she could no longer stand it. The doctor warned about the risk of infection, but the patient said she could no longer stand it,” she added.

A similar situation is faced by another companion heard in the news report. THE TIME. She will also have her name preserved due to fear of compromising the medical care of her mother, who is hospitalized in the unit. According to the woman, the elderly woman is on a stretcher under the stairs, in a space with intense heat and no ventilation.

“Nobody gave her a bath because there is no employee. I asked for a bucket and a cloth to be able to bathe her, right in her bed. There is a lack of dignity”, he reported. A situation that awakens a feeling of revolt in trader Maria Cristina Correa, 48 years old, who also accompanies her mother in the health unit. “The professionals are great, but there is a lack of people. Those who are working are performing miracles”, she assessed.


The companion improvised a bath for the patient, an 80-year-old woman. Photo: Personal Archive

What the Ipsemg administration says

The administration of the Minas Gerais State Servants’ Pension Institute (Ipsemg) recognizes the situation reported by companions and patients at Hospital Governador Israel Pinheiro. In addition to the lack of professionals on the nursing team, the unit’s management points to the lack of resources as one of the reasons that compromise patient care.

A survey carried out by the unit indicated that the projected revenue in 2024 is R$1.5 billion. The value, however, is below the projected expense — which is currently R$1.7 billion. The predicted deficit for this year alone is around R$200 million.

“It is a very big financing challenge. Therefore, we are discussing a bill, which should be forwarded to the Legislative Assembly of Minas Gerais, so that this fragility can be discussed. Today, Ipsemg offers assistance within the limits of its financial capacity If it doesn’t change, we will have to reduce service capacity because of this deficit”, warned public manager André Luiz Moreira dos Anjos, president of Ipsemg since June last year.

He points out that exemptions for family members of beneficiaries are obstacles for management. “We do not have the capacity to serve those beneficiaries who do not contribute financially”, he pointed out. According to the administration, of the 840 thousand beneficiaries across the State, 255 thousand have some exemption. Among those who do not pay for care, there are 140 thousand beneficiaries under the age of 21, in addition to 15 thousand spouses. Ipsemg also has more than 100 thousand spouses with some type of discount.

“It is very important that this public contributes. Furthermore, there is the issue that, as the holder’s remuneration increases, he pays less than 3.2%. This also compromises the collection”, he added.

Deficit in healthcare teams

The compromised medical care for patients at Hospital Governador Israel Pinheiro is assessed by the president of the Minas Gerais Doctors’ Union (Sinmed-MG), Artur Mendes, as an “omission by the government of Minas Gerais” in relation to the problems in the unit.

He states that complaints about service overload are repeated annually and are not resolved with the “palliative measures” adopted by the State, such as the hiring of outsourced professionals.

“They do not present a plan to resolve these issues. It is very clear that the number of professionals is below what is necessary, it is something noticeable. Today, we see the Minas government beating its chest and saying that it has the capacity to open beds when it has the outbreak of some disease, but what about hiring professionals? There is no point in opening beds if there are no professionals to provide assistance”, asked Mendes.

The president of Ipsemg, André dos Anjos, recognizes the difficulty in hiring professionals. He even points to the closure of beds as a consequence of the complexity of attracting nurses and nursing technicians to the network. “In 2023 we were unable to execute the contracts we needed, largely because of the nursing floor. The State only made the payment in November, the other institutions paid before. The person even participated in our process, but compared our value with the others and chose not to close the deal with us”, he argued.

However, according to the president of Ipsemg, the institution has been looking for alternatives to guarantee medical care for beneficiaries. “Today, when a patient arrives at the Ipsemg hospital and the unit is very full, we always talk about the possibility of him being transferred to at least five hospitals in the metropolitan region. These are reference units, such as the Luxemburgo, Evangelico, São Lucas hospitals, among others, but they prefer to stay in the unit. It is an option that, unfortunately, the patient and companion make because of the discomfort (they choose a crowded place with a lack of beds rather than being taken far away)”, he explained.

For him, it is the refusal to transfer that causes patients to cluster in corridors and under stairs. “We do not have a lack of staff in the emergency department, but when there is a refusal, it is beyond the supported capacity. And there is no point in thinking about placing this patient on the 8th or 10th floor where there is a bed. Having a bed is not a sign of assistance. What we need is to have a bed with the assistance team, and we don’t have that”, he concluded.

Speeches by the president of Ipsemg

Why are the beds closed?

“They are closed due to a lack of nursing professionals. We had a reduction in the number of hires last year, largely because of the nursing minimum. The State was only able to pay the minimum in November, after other institutions. This delay occurred because we did not receive sufficient resources from the Federal Government before November. The person even participated in our process, but when she compared the value with that of other institutions, she did not agree with us”.

Can’t patients in the hospital be taken to these beds? Do they need to be in hallways, under stairs?

“The patient cannot be directed to a floor without a care team. Having a bed on the 8th or 10th floor is not a sign of care. We need to have the bed with the care team. When we identify that our capacity is full, we offer the directed to a partner unit, today there are five in the metropolitan region. But what we have observed is that our users prefer to wait in the corridor rather than be transferred”.

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: beds closed Ipsemg leaves patients corridors

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