During an intervention in the Assembly of the Republic, the Minister of Health, Marta Temido, was excited to respond to Catarina Martins, from the Left Bloc, refusing criticism that the Government wants to penalize doctors or women who resort to Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy (IVG).
The minister tried to explain, this Tuesday, in Parliament, the impact of the proposal of the Central Administration of the Health System (ACSS) regarding the new criteria for evaluating doctors in Family Health Units B (USF-B) and did not contain some frustration during the intervention.
In the proposed amendment, already approved by the DGS and currently in the hands of the Ministry of Health, two indicators may be included in the calculation of the salary value additional to the base salary: absence of Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy (IVG) and absence of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in the area of family planning in women of childbearing age.
The proposal is controversial, not only because of the impact it may have on part of the salary, but also because it is understood as a possible gender discriminationsince only women are included in the indicator of the presence of STDs.
In Parliament, Temido said that this is explained by the fact that it is a specific dimension of evaluation, “which is called ‘Family planning – monitoring of women of childbearing age’”.
“Obviously it is not the penalty of the user or doctorbut of differentiating performance when talking about family planning”, reiterated the minister.
“In this specific indicator, females who underwent an IVG are excluded from the denominator. The fact that men are not here does not mean that they do not have health care and follow-up. It does not mean that there is a penalty or discrimination of any nature”, he reinforced, quoted by the Express.
Even so, the government official did not disclose whether the guardianship’s intentions include approving or modifying the new evaluation proposal.
Contrary to those who criticize, Marta Temido also assured that what is at stake is not the right of women to resort to Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy, but a better family planning.
Marta Temido is exalted
Catarina Martinscoordinator of Bloco de Esquerda, stressed in her intervention that “Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy is not merely an indicator of health”, but “a women’s rightfor which we fought, and it is a right of women much more than an indicator of health”.
Stressing that there are still many women who complain about the difficulty of access, “sometimes because of the health structures”, the blockist shot: “what I would like was to hear her say that this indicator will never be accepted in the name of women’s dignity”.
The official began by explaining that “what we had recently was an evaluation of these specific activities by a technical group, not by a group from the Ministry of Health, which recommended that the issue of the criterion for carrying out the IVG be considered as a lack of monitoring by the family planning carried out by professionals”.
“You can disagree or agree. But when we stop debating, we stop serving what our function is. I think everyone understands that the circumstance of having an IVG, for women who have had it, is something that is deeply penalizing from the point of view of physical and mental health. Not considering this aspect is hypocrisy”, he stressed.
“We can say that it is an indicator, for what is the recent trajectory of the IVG in our country, that should not be considered, that for political reasons of a broader conception should not be considered. But ignoring what we’re discussing or confusing what we’re discussing I don’t think it makes sense“, he stressed, adding that the Ministry of Health has not yet commented on this indicator.
“We are talking about the responsibility of family support and what could be a fragility of planning that was not done as we would like and that put the woman in the situation of having to resort to IVG. Let’s be frank!” she explained.
“I apologize for my vehement condemnation of anyone who thinks we are here in an attempt to blame or stigmatize women.”
“We are in 2022, it’s not a discussion for our country, for this Government, nor for the well-being of women. It is true that there is a health issue here that has to be analyzed”, defended the minister.
Catarina Martins countered, noting that “the simple consideration of IVG as a failure of family planning it’s already a moral judgment about women’s decision and is unacceptable”. The same judgment happens with the criterion of absence of STD, said the blockist.
Feared reinforced the “no judgment on the option of any person relating to his personal choices”. “There is also a need here to have an assessment of what this means in terms of one’s own health and I think that is also unquestionable. It is not a question of choice, it is a right, but it is a right with consequences that can be negative from a health point of view.”