a Jair Bolsonaro government (PL) He sent to Congress the proposed budget for 2023, which provides for a nominal 58% cut in the budget for DataSUS (the Informatics Division of the Unified Health System), raising concerns about the weakness of the data managed by the agency.
The department is responsible for the development and management of SUS systems in queues for consultation and procedures, as well as for disease notifications, among other services. Additionally, it handles sensitive information from millions of healthcare users.
According to the proposal sent to Congress, the authority will have R$ 140.2 million available for the next year, while the proposed amount for 2022 is R$ 330 million (in current values).
DataSUS has gained prominence during the pandemic for managing Covid vaccine certification applications, Like ConnectSUS.
The section has been criticized for Government data leak And the hacker actions in the Ministry of Health systems. The figures for Covid’s progress came without an update after an attack at the end of 2021 on the data in the volume.
Health physician and researcher Gilliat Coelho, who was director of DataSUS in 2015, says the cut will increase exposure to service failures and abuses serving much of the country. “Most of the municipalities do not have the resources to employ technological solutions and are dependent on the Ministry of Health,” he said.
The amount withheld for DataSUS reached R$512 million in 2019, the first year for the Bolsonaro government, but it has since declined.
Assistant Secretary Marcelo Quiroga says the cut could disrupt hiring to ensure the “security and availability” of systems.
In a note, the Ministry of Health declared that it is concerned with “budget needs and will seek, in dialogue with the National Congress, the necessary adjustments.” The folder did not mention the services that could be affected by the DataSUS disconnect.
Coelho remembers that the department handles sensitive data, such as a list of people with a particular disease. “This information needs to be very well protected,” he said.
“If there is no investment, these systems become obsolete. If the system is slow, the doctor will prefer paper,” Coelho said.
For researchers, the cut indicates the government’s lack of interest in making the department a champion in the debate on digital health strategy.
The director of the Data Privacy Research Association in Brazil, Rafael Zanata, says Seid is proposing to cut DataSUS’ budget at a time when spending on cybersecurity is only “growing” at large companies.
Zanata says the recent SUS data leaks reflect underinvestment and routine information insecurity.
Fiocruz researcher and Abrasco (Brazilian Association for Collective Health) member, Marcelo Fornazin highlights that DataSUS does not have its own profession and that the agency has expanded its outsourcing of services.
Experts also point out that the cut Taking place in the middle of a happy proposal to create “Open Health”which is a process inspired byOpen Banking ServicesTo share customer data between healthcare operators.
“I am concerned about what kind of benefit can be gained from handing over sensitive data from the Brazilian population to the private sector, and even more so in a scenario of weakening DataSUS and SUS in general,” says Raquel Rashid, researcher. In USP and Lapin (Public Policy and Internet Lab).
In a note, CUNASS (National Board of Health Trustees) demanded that strengthening the governance of information systems and data protection technologies be a priority.
“Moreover, the weakness of the public health system, resulting from the gradual reduction in federal funding, is serious and urgently needs to be corrected,” the council said.
If scissors are confirmed, programs like Farmácia Popular and Médicos pelo Brasil He will lose more than half of the money. Under pressure from the electoral dispute, Bolsonaro, without suggesting a solution, says he will restore the health budget.
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