University of São Paulo: São Paulo is the first city in the country to regulate telemedicine by the SUS

In October, the Committee on Constitution, Justice and Participatory Legislation (CJJ) of the City Council of São Paulo approved Bill 45/2021, defining the practice of telemedicine in the city of São Paulo. According to the text, the Municipal Health Department is in charge of regulating the minimum procedures for the prescription of drugs in telemedicine, following the rules of the Federal Council of Medicine (CFM), the Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) and the Ministry of Health With this, the city of São Paulo becomes the first to regulate permanent telemedicine in the Unified Health System (SUS).

According to Chao Lung When, professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo and responsible for the technical review of the project, the pandemic revived telemedicine, which was already a reality for 19 years with Resolution No. 1643 of 2002, but also evidenced the lack of preparation of the medical area and improvisation. “Now we need to build an effective telemedicine”, comments Lung to Jornal da USP in Ar 1st Edition .

In the project, care through the SUS telemedicine modality has a different logic from supplementary health. “It needs to be thought of as a network formation”, explains Lung, while also commenting that the user will not necessarily be assisted at home from a device. “We don’t necessarily have to get to the person’s residence, but we have to reduce the unnecessary suffering of transport, reducing from two to three hours to 15 minutes without loss of quality in care”, emphasizes Lung.

To carry out the procedures, it is necessary that medical professionals are trained, in accordance with the approved law. “Another thing in which the law is unprecedented in the country’s history is when it adds that it is an obligation to disseminate knowledge about telemedicine to the general population”, reinforces Lung. He also warns that telemedicine does not compete with medicine, but that it enhances the area for connectivity. “Another issue is that it is up to the doctor to decide when telemedicine offers comfort and when he has to provide face-to-face or hybrid care. It cannot be generalized because the concern is not with telemedicine, but with the person”, he explains.

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