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HOW PRIVATE SECTOR EFFORTS CAN HELP PUBLIC HEALTH TO CROSS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN BRAZIL



With the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges we were facing before became more sensitive, especially for the most vulnerable population in our country. And so, in order to fight them in peripheral communities severely affected by the spread of the disease, Brazilian society counted on the efforts of several sectors in 2020.

To date, more than R$ 8.8 billion have been donated by companies, associations and fundraising campaigns as a means of helping to combat the effects of the pandemic, according to the ABCR Donations Monitor.

Considering the high volume of donations, resources can – and should – be directed to different purposes, however, it is known that the pandemic demonstrated a greater need for investment in health, with support and donation of inputs, to inhibit a crisis. health on a national scale. Investments in health are found all over the country, considering that, on average, three out of four companies invested in support related to this area, according to data from the BISC survey, Benchmarking of Corporate Social Investment this year.

In this way, the private sector tends to stand out, as it presents itself as a kind of catalyst, enabling solutions for the most urgent and emergency social needs. This is because, being free from the bureaucratic bonds of the State, it is easier to streamline donations, health support measures, testing protocols and socioeconomic surveys in the territories that are most in need of assistance.

To illustrate, according to a study by the Arymax Foundation, “it is clear that neither the State nor the private sector can, alone, promote the necessary changes to expand the possibilities of productive inclusion. It is necessary to seek complementarities and create coordination arrangements that allow combining different types of policies and incentives”.

Thus, it is important to highlight the movement of some companies, such as Gerdau, which made a strong effort to support Brazilian health in this context. The steel producer, which was already among the largest donors in the private sector, joined forces with the City of São Paulo, Ambev and Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein to build a new treatment center for COVID-19, exclusive to the System Unified Health System (SUS). He also donated financial resources to hospitals in Minas Gerais and, together with Hospital Moinhos de Vento, Ipiranga and Grupo Zaffari, delivered in record time the facilities of a treatment center for the new coronavirus in Porto Alegre.

Other organizations have chosen to redirect their work focus to meet the needs highlighted by the pandemic. Grupo + Unidos, for example, is a social investment fund, whose scope is the professional training of young Brazilians. In the current context, he took advantage of his expertise in the articulation between different social sectors to enable the equipping of ICU / ICU beds in areas of care void in the Legal Amazon, indicated by the local Health Department, among other actions in several regions of Brazil.


Data from the 2019 BISC survey show that social investments made by healthcare companies, from 2012 to 2018, represented only 3% and, of this total, 10% were concentrated in the North of the country. In addition, according to data from the National Register of Health Establishments (CNES) – in the State of Amazonas, for example, all adult ICU beds specialized in the treatment of COVID-19 by SUS (176 of 258) are concentrated in Manaus , justifying the investment made for the benefit of the state health network, from international funds.

In this sense, it can be inferred that a decentralization or interiorization of beds and equipment in these regions is a positive measure, which will allow a legacy for the local Unified Health System in the post-pandemic, in addition to the resources so commonly invested in locations that are more frequently attended and have greater coverage of health services.

Nina Faria
Project Manager
Grupo + Unidos

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