Leading São Paulo hospitals cut wages

hospital albert einstein
Albert Einstein Hospital. Photo: AEH

Despite gaining unprecedented attention, São Paulo’s two most-prestigious hospitals have experienced massive drops in revenue — and have announced they will cut wages and hours of staff members. Albert Einstein Hospital, based in the upmarket neighborhood of Morumbi, has experienced a revenue reduction of 45 percent and will enforce 25-percent wage and hours cuts on one-third of its 15,000 members of staff. Its main competitor, Sírio-Libânes — located close to São Paulo’s iconic Avenida Paulista — will also reduce staff hours and salaries, but chose not to disclose further details.

Sidney Klajner, chairman at Albert Einstein, said high-complexity procedures have dropped drastically during the pandemic. At the same time, the hospital invested heavily for a spike in demand of Covid-19 patients — which was not the case for most private hospitals. “Thanks to that, we were able to transfer surplus beds to the public sector. Today, [the hospital] accounts for one-third of intensive care beds in São Paulo,” he told Folha de S.Paulo

One nurse who spoke anonymously to the newspaper said there was no negotiation over the salary and hours reductions. Either employees took the pay cut, or they would be fired. 

According to Albert Einstein’s official website, the price of a consultation varies from doctor to doctor, but hovers around BRL 600 to 1,000, almost reaching the national minimum wage. The demographic that can afford regular treatment in these flagship hospitals is also that which is more likely to be able to self-isolate and protect itself from contagion.

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