Jan 31, 2012

SP Beggars Earning More than Surgeons

Brazil News

| SAO PAULO – Homeless beggars who wait in line at a National Public Health System (SUS) clinic in Sao Paulo are earning more than surgeons, reports TEM TV. Even after complaints about the practice, a news crew that visited the clinic in Mirassol, in Sao Paulo, encountered no problems finding the entrepreneurs.

Public Health clinic in Mirassol, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Public Health Clinic (Photo: G1 Rio Preto e Araçatuba)

In front of the clinic were several homeless on-duty, spinning cardboard signs advertizing their services. Early on Tuesday, many appointments had already been sold. According to people standing in line, the wait to see an orthopedic specialist was at least eight hours.

The homeless can schedule appointments on behalf of others and the officials say there is nothing they can do. The homeless charge R$25 reals (about $14 USD) for a place in line, earning more than an orthopedic surgeon, who receives only R$10 reals (about $6 USD) per consultation, from SUS.

The city faces a shortage of doctors as so many prefer not to work with the SUS. At the clinic in Mirassol, there are only three general practitioners to serve the population. There are 58 appointments per day with 28 of those reserved for the elderly.

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Source(s) for this article: G1 SP

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