Duarte CR. Equidade na legislaçã um princípio do sistema de saúde brasileiro? [Equity in legislation: a principle of the Brazilian health system?] Ciência e Saúde Coletiva [Science and Collective Health] (São Paulo, Brazil) 2000; 5(2):443-463.

Objectives: To analyze the concept of equity in Brazilian legislation and to point out possible consequences for health reform proposed by the government.

Methodology: Historical with policy analysis involving secondary data.

Results: The author provides a conceptual analysis of the term “equity” and evaluates its incorporation into Brazil ’s Federal Constitution and Complementary Laws. Because mechanisms for transferring revenues can serve as an instrument for redistributing resources in favor of or against equity, the author also examines how such transfers were implemented via the federal government’s Basic Operational Regulations.

The author also considers proposals for health reform advanced by the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the role played by the private medical care sector, and the potentially adverse implications for equity.

Conclusions: With respect to the 1988 Constitution, the approved Basic Operational Regulations proved regressive in terms of equity. These Regulations disregarded the differences in epidemiological profile of clients in the private and public sectors, as well as regional differences. The Regulations therefore contributed to increasing inequities.

Copyright 2007 University of New Mexico