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In 2011, the Dilma government took the initiative to partner with states and municipalities to address the causes of overcrowding and delays in emergency room and emergency hospital care. As of that year, each hospital began to receive R$ 3.6 million to be used to pay regular expenses (maintenance, professional training and payment of wages) and an additional R$ 3 million to purchase new equipment.
The Emergency SOS project began in 12 hospitals, but over the course of 2013 another 10 began to receive the benefit. It took just two years for 2,080 new support beds to be installed. The forecast of the Ministry of Health is that by the end of 2014, the number of hospitals taking part in the program will reach 40.
It was not just an urgent response service that was missing in Brazil in 2002. Since there was no intermediary service between primary care at neighborhood clinics and emergency rooms of large hospitals, the latter suffered from overcrowding and endless queues.
The Lula government created the Emergency Care Units (PSUs) to fill this gap.
Each PSU is equipped with trained professionals able to care for people with bouts of hypertension, high fever, deep cuts, fractures, heart attacks and strokes. The transfer to a large hospital only happens if things really get complicated.
Through June 2014, 355 PSUs were already in operation, responsible for 94,000 daily consultations (2.8 million monthly).