The second piece in the telemedicine series takes a closer look at the initiatives promoted by the Federal Medical Council in Brazil to regulate this type of medical care. In 2002, the Council approved Resolution No. 1,643, authorizing the practice of telemedicine for research, assistance and health education or to support diagnostic and therapeutic emergency cases. Last February, Resolution No. 2,227 was published in an attempt to update the previous text, allowing remote consultations and surgeries. Amidst the flood of doubts and questions raised by the medical community, however, the Council shortly thereafter ruled for the annulment of the new regulation and the 2002 understanding came back into force.
Neurologist Jefferson Fernandes, with a vast experience in health education, research, management and innovation, spoke with Portal Health Connections about the issue. He is a professor at Fundação Getúlio Vargas-RJ, IBCMED-SP and FIAP and the current chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Global Summit Telemedicine & Digital Health of the São Paulo Medical Association. According to the expert, with the annulment of the new resolution, the risk is that we do not promote adequate discussion on the actual benefits the teleconsultation can offer Brazilian users of health system.
The legal practice of teleconsultation was one of the main innovations of the 2019 version of the resolution - the most controversial, allowing medical care to be remotely performed, as permitted in countries such as Canada, the United States, England, Portugal, the Netherlands, China, and the Nordic Countries. In Brazil, while part of the medical community sees greater risks than benefits, others find the practice fundamental, especially to ensure that Medicine reaches all citizens in regions with more limited resources.
Regarding the current resolution, whose text dates back to 2002, Jefferson comments: “The text is 17 years old. Technology has evolved, Medicine has evolved, people are now used to devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers to communicate, which happens smoothly also when it involves health professionals”. The neurologist underscores that discussions on the approval of the practice of teleconsultation need to be resumed.
To learn more, click the link and watch the new video from our telemedicine series.