The capital of Ceará leads the ranking of hospitalizations and values applied. Last year, there were 7,106 hospitalizations and just over R $ 35 million directed to the treatment of these patients. The Leonardo da Vinci Hospital – open exclusively for the treatment of infected with Covid-19 – received the most patients: 1,026 (just over R $ 10 million), followed by the General Hospital of Fortaleza, which had 929 admissions, with R $ 6.1 million invested.
Sobral, in the North, appears in the second position in the cities of Ceará with the most hospitalizations: 1,806 and R $ 9.2 million were spent. The Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Sobral was the one that most interned in the Municipality: 4,835 and just over R $ 6.7 invested. Then comes the Norte Regional Hospital (HRN), with 3 thousand hospitalizations and R $ 4.8 million spent.
The economist and doctor in collective health Helena Lima explains that the hospitalizations due to Covid-19 infection have a range of specificities that increase the costs in relation to other hospitalizations.
The specialist, who is also a visiting professor at the State University of Ceará (Uece), also points out that, in the case of other hospitalizations, such as pneumonia or infarction, the patient does not always need an ICU, “different from what happens with patients infected by new coronavirus “.
Thus, adds Lima, the structure – which involves professionals, hospital supplies, medicines and services – necessary to treat these patients is even more complex and consequently more expensive. The sum of all these factors converges on the high value needed to pay for hospitalizations by Covid.
A patient hospitalized due to Covid requires a series of tests, requires multiprofessionals and demands more inputs, such as oxygen. In other hospitalizations, the use of oxygen is not always necessary, for example. So this greater need culminates in such high values.
PhD in Public Health
Because it is a new disease, which until then had no knowledge, several medicines and hospital supplies that started to be used last year were not part of the coverage range of SUS. In view of this absence, many purchases were made without bidding, which, in the economist’s assessment, “makes prices more expensive”.
This practice, although not illegal given the circumstances in which it occurred, should be reviewed. Helena Lima warns that it is necessary to be more efficient in purchases and “very strict” so that it is possible to identify which items are burdening the State. She highlights the importance of using cost systems, already common in hospitals, “in order to have control over expenses and to be able to settle this account”.
For this year, the specialist projects even higher amounts spent on hospitalizations for Covid-19 infections. Two of the reasons that support this thesis are the increase in the average time that each patient remains hospitalized and the expansion of the ICU beds.
“More beds, more resources. The cost of each ICU is very high. Therefore, at the end of this year, we should have even higher figures. Add to that the length of stay that I increase in this second wave. This strain is more lethal and patients evolve more quickly, so more inputs are needed, more dedicated professionals, in short, patient care with Covid is quadrupled “, he says.
A thermometer of this likely increase in costs at the end of 2021 is the ICU occupancy rate. Helena recalls that last year, this index did not stabilize at around 90%, differently from what happens now, with hospitals routinely with an occupancy rate close to 100%. Currently, according to data from Sesa, the occupancy rate for the ICUs in Ceará is 91.75%.
Only one hospital stay
On the opposite side of the table of municipalities with a jump in hospitalizations, there are five cities that throughout the past year have only registered a single hospitalization: Ererê, Nova Olinda, Pereiro, Guaiúba and Croatá. The latter is even the one that spent the least money on hospitalization. According to IntegraSus, the figure is only R $ 52.22.
O Newspaper of the Northeast contacted Sesa so that the folder could explain and detail the numbers on the IntegraSus portal. However, there was no return.
I want to receive exclusive content from the city of Fortaleza
Get the latest news delivered to your inbox
Follow us on social media networks