On Tuesday, President Jair Bolsonaro vetoed a Congress proposal to grant health workers debilitated by Covid-19 BRL 50,000 (USD 9,435) in compensation for their services. The measure is effective immediately, after being published on the Federal Gazetta, and essentially vetoes the proposal in its entirety.
Mr. Bolsonaro argued that the law is “unconstitutional” and against the public interest. He also pointed out that the proposal failed to give estimates of how much the measure would cost for the federal coffers, which is a technicality. The measure also deems the project’s additional spending as contrary to the government’s state of calamity and need for budget restraints.
The bill was approved in Congress in July and also includes compensation for families of health workers who died of Covid-19.
One of the project’s co-signers, Congresswoman Fernanda Melchionna, fiercely opposed Mr. Bolsonaro’s decision calling it “disdainful” of the sacrifice made by health workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Mr. Bolsonaro disdains the lives of Brazilians and health workers who are on the front line in the war against the coronavirus. This veto against our bill that guarantees compensation to health workers and victims of Covid-19 is further testament to his genocidal policy,” Ms. Melchionna declared, on a social media post.
Many representatives have already signaled their intention to overrule Mr. Bolsonaro’s decision in Congress and a vote should be held soon.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil, health workers at the forefront of efforts against the coronavirus have been ill equipped and inadequately supported, suffering from a lack of personal protection equipment (PPE) and no financial compensation against the health problems caused by Covid-19.
In April, The Brazilian Report covered how health professionals have been essentially left to fend for themselves in the fight against Covid-19.Support this coverage →