Barroso suspends law establishing national nursing floor

Barroso suspends law establishing national nursing floor
Barroso suspends law establishing national nursing floor

The national nursing salary floor, sanctioned by President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) last month, was suspended by Minister Luís Roberto Barroso, of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), this Sunday, 4th. In the decision, the minister pointed out risks to the provision of health services and the possibility of mass dismissal in view of the new salaries. Barroso gave a period of 60 days for public and private health entities to clarify the financial impact of the floor and said that the issue should be discussed with the other ministers of the STF in the coming days.

The minister assessed that public hospitals, Santas Casas and units linked to the Unified Health System (SUS) could be more impacted by the measure and responded to the action of the National Confederation of Health, Hospitals and Establishments and Services (CNSaúde), which questioned the constitutionality of the law that established the floor of the category.

“Basically, the argument that the Legislature approved the project and the Executive sanctioned it without taking care of the measures that would make its execution feasible, such as, for example, increasing the SUS reimbursement table to the partner network, seems plausible. In that case, they would have wanted to have the benefit bonus without the burden of increasing their own expenses, outsourcing the account,” said the minister in the decision.

According to the sanctioned law, the nurses’ salary floor was set at R$ 4,750. For nursing technicians, it would be 70% of this value, and for nursing assistants and midwives, 50%. The rule would apply to employees under the Consolidation of Labor Laws (CLT) regime.

Barroso highlighted the importance of the category, but expressed concern about possible layoffs. “On the one hand, there is the legitimate objective of the legislator to value health professionals, who, during the long period of the Covid-19 pandemic, were tireless in defending the life and health of Brazilians. On the other hand, there are the risks to the autonomy and financial health of the federative entities, the reflexes on employability in the sector, the subsistence of numerous hospital institutions and, therefore, the very provision of health services.”

The minister stated that private entitiesNonetheless, can implement the new salary. “Naturally, private institutions that are able to, from the outset, bear the burden of the floor contained in the contested law, not only are not prevented from doing so, but are encouraged to do so. The constitutional and fiscal circumstances mentioned here do not mean that the value is not fair and that the benefited categories do not deserve the minimum remuneration.”

According to a survey presented by CNSaúde to the STF, carried out with employers, 77% stated that they would reduce the nursing staff and 51% would reduce the number of beds with the institution of the floor. In this scenario, there would be the possibility of dismissal of 80 thousand nursing professionals and closing of 20 thousand beds.

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The article is in Portuguese

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