It is estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic generates a deficit of US$ 3 million to US$ 4 million, which will be added to the already existing gap of around US$ 5 million per year due to the underfunding by the Public Health System
The Pequeno Príncipe Hospital started its preparation for facing the coronavirus (COVID-19) in January. While the health teams were working on planning new protocols and measures for prevention, protection and assistance to patients and employees, the administrative team was beginning to feel the logistical and financial impact of the pandemic. “This moment we are experiencing will have a strong impact on our economic and financial sustainability. Our estimate is that the increase in the costs of materials and essential supplies to attend COVID-19, associated with the drop in revenues generated by the suspension of elective surgeries, generates a deficit of US$ 3 million to US$ 4 million this year. This amount will added to the existing deficit of our institution, which is about US$ 5 million per year in assistance due to the underfunding of the Public Health System (SUS) and US$ 1.6 million in research,” explains the corporate director of the Pequeno Príncipe Complex, José Álvaro da Silva Carneiro.
Considering 16 items among those on the list of the most used in the care of patients with coronavirus (suspected or confirmed), the Hospital used to spend about US$ 13,000 per month. Now, with rising prices and increased consumption, monthly spending is almost three times more, exceeding US$ 34,000.
Some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks, for example, had their price increased almost 11 times, from US$ 0.35 to US$ 3.98. And even with this hypervalorization, it is difficult to find the material available on the market. Consumption also increased a lot, going from 90 to 1,000 units per month.
Disposable aprons are another very striking example. Before the pandemic, the Hospital used about 30 units per month. Now there are 500. The apron that used to cost US$ 1.59 is now available at US$ 3.98. An increase of 150%.
The Hospital’s executive director, Ety Cristina Forte Carneiro, recalls that in addition to the increase in supplies, there is a climate issue that also affects the institution. “At that time of the year when temperatures start to fall, it is more likely for children to experience respiratory illnesses. As a result, the test for viral investigation (COVID-19, H1N1, Influenza) will be used on a large scale. Costing expenses increase due to new protocols and extra demands, while revenues decrease due to the security measures adopted by the Pequeno Príncipe,” she observes. Among these measures is the suspension of all elective surgeries (click here and see more).
The costs related to Human Resources are another crucial point for the institution’s financial stability. In order to preserve the health of its staff, the Hospital is providing transportation for part of its employees, thus preventing them from using public transport. There are also some teams staying in hotels to prevent them from returning to their homes, reducing the risk of contamination. In addition to the costs of these initiatives, it is necessary to reinforce the team with new hires to replace the workforce of employees who, eventually, may be dismissed for contracting the virus.
“More than ever, we need the support of society to overcome this moment and continue to serve children from all over Brazil with the excellent medicine that has been our mark for 100 years,” she declares. The Pequeno Príncipe has prepared some projects that seek resources to cover the expenses generated by fighting the coronavirus, in order to cover the increase in the institution’s financial gap generated by the pandemic. These projects are open to receiving support from companies and individuals willing to contribute at this time. More information on how to support these initiatives, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Click here to watch the message from the Hospital directors around this challenging moment.
Number of procedures performed in the first half of April fell by more than 80% compared to the same period last year
Until 10 a.m. on April 24, the Pequeno Príncipe Hospital treated 79 suspected cases of the disease, of which 6 were confirmed