The testimony of Bruna Morato, lawyer of former Prevent Senior doctors, who denounced the company’s pressure to use the “covid kit”, overturned the concept of “medical autonomy”, defended and used by the health operator and the federal government .
Morato told Covid’s CPI senators on Tuesday (28) that the company’s professionals did not have the medical autonomy to decide which drug to use in the treatment against covid-19.
To the CPI, Pedro Benedito Batista Júnior, executive director of the Prevent Senior health plan, stated that “each one of the prescriptions was made by doctors in conversation with the patients”. At another time, he said that “the physician’s autonomy must be preserved so that he can indicate to patients the best medication.”
The lawyer, however, explained that the protocol is institutional, that is, it came from the direction of the company, in the figure of Pedro Benedito Batista Júnior.” It is not individualized for each unit. Doctors do not have autonomy”.
She also stated that there was a stipulated penalty of reduced shifts for doctors who refused to adopt early treatment.
“If you didn’t show loyalty and obedience to the protocols, you would suffer punishment”, said the lawyer, who even pointed to the practice of mass dismissal if any professional displeased the institution.
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A report from GloboNews showed a routine of pressure on doctors to prescribe certain drugs for early treatment: chloroquine, azithromycin, ivermectin and flutamide, the latter normally indicated only in cases of prostate cancer.
“I stopped prescribing for a single day believing that [autonomia] and I ended up being called to the board with very clear instructions that I should prescribe the medication and what was implied was that, if I didn’t prescribe the medication, you would be out of the hospital. I went back to prescribing the medication because I was forced to prescribe it. Autonomy is actually zero, you have no choice but to prescribe. If you don’t prescribe, you will be fired,” said one of the doctors to the vehicle.
Covid kit costs less than hospitalization
Prevent Senior is responsible for producing an observational study with the application of early treatment drugs in 636 patients, as informed by the company’s executive director, during the CPI session.
The aim was to generate the impression that there was an effective treatment against covid-19. “The studies for Prevent Senior were to justify a strategy to reduce costs, since it was easier to make the drugs available than to hospitalize”, stated Bruna Morato. The covid kit sent to Prevent Senior clients consisted of drugs such as ivermectin, azithromycin and chloroquine.
Still, if “people got sick, they would get treatment. They dominated this as a golden day, which was when they would have to take these medications”, said the lawyer.
The lawyer also stated that there was a policy in Prevent Senior hospitals not to inform the patient or family members about the treatment. The orientation was sent by one of the institution’s directors via messages from WhatsApp groups. The lawyer also stated that the consent form for the treatment was generic. “Many patients didn’t read.”
Prevent Senior’s observational study was used by the Ministry of Health, which incorporated the company’s reports into its own protocols. Os primeiros resultados da pesquisa foram divulgados pela Prevent Senior em 15 de abril de 2020. Três dias depois, em sua conta pessoal no Twitter, Bolsonaro divulgou o estudo feito pelo plano de saúde.
“Out of a group of 636 patients followed by doctors, 224 did not use hydroxychloroquine. Of these, 12 were hospitalized and 5 died. Of the 412 who opted for the drug, only 8 were hospitalized and, in addition to not being intubated, the number of deaths was zero. The full study will be published shortly”, said the president.
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According to Bruna Morato, during 2020, there was an attempt to get closer to the former Health Minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, since there was an idea that there was an ideological alignment with the federal government in order to promote early treatment.
However, Mandetta “did not open up”, who had already criticized the company for being killed by covid-19 at the Sancta Maggiore hospital, in São Paulo. Pedro Benedito Batista Júnior, then, was informed “that there was a group of doctors advising the federal government that would be aligned with the interests of the Ministry of Economy”.
Also according to the lawyer, the idea was that “if we entered this system of lockdown we would have a big shock, the idea was that people could go out on the street without fear.
They developed a strategy through the advice of doctors such as Anthony Wong, Nise Yamaguchi, Paolo Zanotto and Prevent would come in to collaborate with these people. An ideological alignment. Granting hope so that people could go out onto the streets and that hope had a name: hydroxychloroquine”.
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The promotion of early treatment, the proximity to the federal government and the presence of figures such as Nise Yamaguchi in the company show signs that Prevent Senior was part of the parallel office.
The group would be made up of figures outside the federal government who would advise the president on the use of drugs proven to be ineffective by science against covid-19, such as hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine.
Edition: Anelize Moreira