Minas Gerais facing doctor shortage to increase hospital capacity

minas gerais hospitals
Poor healthcare infrastructure is a decades-long problem in Brazil. In 2013, citizens protested and asked for “hospitals at World Cup standards.” Photo: Hugo Martins Oliveira/Shutterstock

After entering the highest level of Covid-19 alert on Tuesday, the state of Minas Gerais said it has been unable to find enough doctors to expand the number of hospital beds available on the public health system. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Minas Gerais State Hospital Foundation (Fhemig) carried out 74 selection processes to hire doctors, but 14 of them ended without finding suitable candidates. State health secretary Fábio Baccheretti said finding professionals specialized in intensive care has been even more challenging.  

“It is the most complex process in a hospital. You need specialized professionals, equipment, inputs that were provided in 2020 and remain available (…) but we ran out of human resources. We have the physical space, but we don’t have professionals,” he said.

On Wednesday, Minas Gerais reported its highest number of deaths due to Covid-19 so far: 314 within 24 hours, bringing the total tally to 21,029.

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