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Patients who are absent and do not cancel appointments hurt those who depend on SUS |  National newspaper

Patients who are absent and do not cancel appointments hurt those who depend on SUS | National newspaper

Absentee patients who do not cancel care hurt those who depend on the unified health system

Three out of ten patients have an appointment or exam scheduled SUS Absentees do not cancel appointments. This practice ends up hurting those who rely on the public network.

Queue that takes a long time to move. Since February 2023, day laborer Marinalva Maria Carvalho Silva has been waiting for a dermatologist appointment through SUS in São Paulo. I got my online service date on February 19th.

“I have a spot on my back that itches really bad and I've been waiting for a job for a year. I think it's disrespectful,” he says.

On the computer screen, another aspect of the problem. While many wait, there are patients who do not show up on the appointed day.

“The demand for care is very high. When people do not warn us, we put this problem on the agenda,” says Josera de Oliveira Lima, director of the health unit.

This is not the only reason to wait for care in the public network, but in a system that already has so much demand for appointments, missing appointments and not providing notice gets in the way. Patients who don't show up take up other people's schedules, adding to the delay for themselves.

In January, of the more than 3,100 patients with a scheduled appointment at the unit, 1,200 were absent. Principal Pamela Aparecida de Souza, who scheduled her children's appointments in April, didn't know so many people did.

“It's very irresponsible. You have to think about the next phase as well,” he says.

Production survey National newspaper The 20 capital cities showed that in 2023, on average, for every ten patients who had an appointment or exam scheduled, three were absent and did not cancel their appointment.

In Recife, the Ministry of Health is campaigning to reduce absences and says it will call to confirm an appointment or test.

“We invest a lot in the process of approaching the user. We noticed that there was a significant decrease in the number of absences. The loss reached 60%. Today it is about 45% for consultations and about 35% for exams,” says Rosanne Lemos, Organization Manager at Recife.

In some capitals, you can cancel the appointment using the Municipal Health Department app, such as in Curitiba. But there is a limit to errors.

“He can cancel, and if he cancels two more times, the next time he will have to resume his operation, and make a new referral to the specialty for which the consultation was booked,” explains Beatrice Battistella, Curitiba's Minister of Health.

“From the moment the user, the community, does not use it on a scheduled basis, I face a waste of public resources at that moment. This waste has a huge impact on the general budget of the university, which is an asset for everyone and we must be careful of Wasting it.