Sobrinho EA. Políticas contemporâneas: fim do direito a saúde? [Contemporary policies: an end of the right to health?] Saúde e Sociedade [Health and Society] ( São Paulo , Brazil ) 2002 January-July; 11(1):5-14.

Objectives: To analyze the right to health in Brazil , as well as policies aimed at implementing this right.

Methodology: Analytical and interpretive.

Results: The author describes the values within the United Nations Human Development Index, using this concept to draw a comparison among the different states in Brazil . This analysis demonstrates inequality in the distribution of resources and in quality of life.

The author also describes the policy reforms of the Unified Health System and illustrates with data five central points in this reform: universalization of the right to health, unified decentralization, democratization of management, holistic care, and a mixed (public and private) system of implementation. The problem of financing universal, integrated health care is discussed in the context of Brazil ’s public budget and the recent constitutional reform affecting it.

The programmatic efforts of the state government of São Paulo are noted, with reference to self-care, new management mechanisms intended to augment the regulatory role of the state, and the enactment of social pacts as a means of implementing policies in a country as complex as Brazil.

Conclusions: Organizational reform is needed in Brazil to support and sustain a wide-ranging social security policy that includes health and maintains equity as its centerpiece.

Copyright 2007 University of New Mexico