Nísia has already made 3 changes to the team since the ministerial meeting – 03/28/2024 – Balance and Health

Nísia has already made 3 changes to the team since the ministerial meeting – 03/28/2024 – Balance and Health


Minister Nísia Trindade, of Health, has made at least three changes to her team since the ministerial meeting on March 18, in which she was accused by President Lula (PT) for performance problems in the department.

The list of those dismissed include Helvécio Magalhães (Secretary of Specialized Care), Alexandre Oliveira Telles (Department of Hospital Management) and Carmem Pankararu (director of the Department of Primary Care for Indigenous Health).

The PT is pressing for the executive secretary, Swedenberger Barbosa, and the secretary of Health and Environmental Surveillance, Ethel Maciel, to be removed from their positions.

Despite this, members of the government themselves believe that at least for the first time, the two should remain.

A PT wing in São Paulo defends the appointment of former minister Arthur Chioro as executive secretary. He is currently president of Ebserh (Brazilian Hospital Services Company).

The department has faced several crises, including the increase in the number of Yanomami deaths, a record number of dengue cases and the critical situation of federal hospitals in Rio de Janeiro, as shown by the Fantástico program, on TV Globo.

A Sheet It also showed that even medicines have been lacking in the current administration. The shortage of medicines for leprosy has prevented the initiation or interrupted treatment of patients.

At the end of the ministerial meeting, Lula said that the minister should improve communication about the Yanomami. She also recalled that there was confusion at the beginning of the dengue vaccination campaign, implying that there were vaccines for the entire population, when this was not the case.

Furthermore, Nísia was the target of repeated demands from the center due to the criteria for releasing parliamentary amendments.

Among the changes, Nísia dismissed Helvécio Magalhães, who led one of the main areas of the ministry, responsible for the largest volume of SUS funding transfers, in addition to federal hospitals. To take his place, the minister appointed Adriano Massuda, who had already been invited to take over the Primary Care secretariat at the beginning of his administration, but at the time he declined the invitation.

Nísia also fired Alexandre Oliveira Telles from his position as director of the Department of Hospital Management in the State of Rio de Janeiro. In a statement, Saúde stated that the superintendent of the portfolio in Rio, Maria Aparecida Braga, will assume this role.

The director of the Department of Primary Health Care for Indigenous Health, Carmem Pankararu, was also dismissed. Health said, in a statement, that the departure was planned and the decision stems from the need for adjustments in the secretariat team to overcome existing challenges in Indigenous Health.

Another person who will be dismissed is the general coordinator of Disease Surveillance for Elimination, Sandra Maria Barbosa Durães.

According to secretary Ethel Maciel, Sandra’s dismissal was made upon request. She explained that not everyone can manage technically, politically and at the same time have a relationship with social movements.

“This is common in a secretariat like the Health and Environmental Surveillance Secretariat, which in addition to the very strong technical component, with all the technical advisory committees for the 112 diseases and conditions that we monitor, there is a need to agree on all actions with Conass (National Council of Health Secretaries) and Conasems (National Council of Municipal Health Secretaries)”, he said.

“Therefore, a very intense political component, and the relationship with social movements that were silenced and removed from politics and are now resuming integrated discussions.”

Days before the ministerial meeting, the ministry had already dismissed Nesio Fernandes (then secretary of Primary Care). Doctor Felipe Proença de Oliveira, who was Fernandes’ deputy secretary, began to command the structure.

Nísia is also one of the priority targets of criticism from the president of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), and the center. The ministry has been charged with quickly releasing funds for amendments and not blocking resources from reaching the political strongholds of deputies and senators.

As shown by Sheetthe ministry changed the rules for releasing amendments in 2024, the year of municipal elections, and allowed states and municipalities to receive more resources from parliamentarians.

The minister has been holding meetings with Congress leaders to explain the rules on amendments and try to avoid new crises with the Legislature.


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