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Revista de Saúde Pública

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MOTA, André  and  SCHRAIBER, Lilia Blima. Institutionalization of Public Health Care in Sao Paulo between 1930 and 1940. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2013, vol.47, n.5, pp.839-845. ISSN 0034-8910.

The aim of the study was to interpret and understand the institutionalization of public health care in the state of Sao Paulo over the years 1930-1940, based on the history of medical specialties. The methodology involved analysis of new sources of documents, which were compared with the existing literature, thereby leading to identification of new indices relating to the issue of eugenics and the presence of physicians’ religious beliefs as a social movement. As physicians became public health experts, they proposed a project to elevate the Brazilian race, by merging the hygienist discourse with sanitary actions. Sao Paulo sought primacy in this project, believing that this was a State already constituted by a race of “historically healthy men”. Religious beliefs influenced the debate and the decisions of that time with regard to the established order within public health. In this manner, it could be shown that, historically, public health discourse was constituted by merging technical-scientific issues with political-ideological and cultural issues, producing a mixture of different interests and corporative perspectives of the profession.

Keywords : Public Health; Social Medicine; Eugenics; Institutionalization, history.

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