The pandemic exacerbates health inequalities

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Abstract

We live in a global pandemic unprecedented in our generation. These are challenging times for healthcare workers. We are all in the same storm and join the same collective effort against COVID-19. However, we are not in the same boat. Inequality determines how each category of the health workforce is affected by the new coronavirus in Brazil. Exposed to the disease on the frontlines, nursing technicians and assistants suffer disproportionately the dire effects of the pandemic. More than 1.3 million technicians and almost 420 thousand nursing assistants provide essential care in health units and do not have the assistance and financial backing to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on themselves and their families. Eight in every ten of these professionals are women, who are providers and also assume, in most cases, the role of primary caregivers for children, older adults, and the sick in their families. Low wages make hinder access to safer transportation and care alternatives for dependents, which is the reality of most professionals who keep the health system running throughout the pandemic.

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Minayo, M. C. de S., & Freire, N. P. (2020). The pandemic exacerbates health inequalities. Ciencia e Saude Coletiva, 25(9), 3555–3556. https://doi.org/10.1590/1413-81232020259.13742020

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