Next year, Bauru’s health department will have a budget unprecedented in the history of the municipal public treasury. The most important sector of the Suéllen Rosim Government (PSD) to date, the Ministry will have R$ 402,697,844.00 at its disposal in 2024.
Just over R$25 million has been allocated to network expansion and rehabilitation, which is more than a significant figure compared to previous years – when the figure did not exceed R$4 million.
However, the record budget that the ministry will have next year poses two challenges for Palacio das Ceregueiras: allocating these resources well and dismantling the perception that the astronomical jump in the value allocated to investments only came in an election year, when Suéllen must run for re-election.
The budget allocated to health is stipulated in the draft annual budget law approved by the Council last Monday (4). The text estimates revenues and determines the expenses necessary to operate the public machine in the coming year.
The Potomati portfolio received a budget for 2024 that is 22.64% higher than this year’s budget, reaching R$ 328,365,803.00.
Despite the challenge of avoiding the electoral image of this measure, the reality is that the increase in the Secretariat’s cash flow is still a response from the government to the population itself, for whom health is the most important sector of the Swellin administration to date.
As a July JC poll, conducted by the Agili Institute, revealed, 38.2% of Bauru residents disapprove of the health service provided in the municipality – 10.7% rate it as poor and 27.5% as poor. The survey showed that 45% of those interviewed said that management should have priority in resources.
The text of the budget law with an increase in health funds came a month after the research was published.
At a hearing in August, Minister Putumati stated that investments in the maintenance and expansion of Basic Health Units (UBS), Family Health Units (USF) and in increasing the number of community health agents are scheduled to be made in the coming year.
The mayor herself has already been advised since the beginning of the year to take action in this sector. Especially in light of the pressure that the government was experiencing from external parties, whether the Audit Bureau or the State Audit Bureau, demanding urgent improvements in the department.
Investigations by council members in the first half of the year revealed, for example, that health units in Bauru did not have basic supplies for their maintenance, such as plasters, gauze or anti-inflammatories.
On more than one occasion, the Audit Bureau’s inspection revealed equipment malfunctions and problems related to patient management, with stretchers spread out in the corridors. This is what the health increase in next year’s mandate letter aims to avoid.
The budget bill was approved by 15 votes to 1. Council member Eduardo Borgo (Novo) voted against the text on the grounds that the proposal does not include resources for government promises, such as the announced municipal hospital.
The advisors also approved two amendments to the basic law. One of them, signed by council members Eduardo Burgo and Junior Lucadora (PP), transfers R$2 million from the Ministry of Works to Health for the purpose of purchasing removable partial prosthetics. According to the authors, this would be the amount needed to clear the queue of patients waiting for this equipment.
The other was presented by Council Member Manny Lucila (MDB) and specifies that R$80,000 of the total investment allocated to the Culture Department will be applied to holding the “Municipal Life and Family Appreciation Week” and the “Family Walk”.
In addition, parliamentarians also approved mandatory amendments that every member of the Council will be entitled to next year. The Financial Secretariat has estimated a budget of R$ 2,075,729,037.00 for 2024. Health is the department that has seen the largest increase and will have a record monetary value.
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