Saúde e Sociedade
versão impressa ISSN 0104-1290
MARQUES, Rosa Maria e MENDES, Áquilas. Democracy, public health and universality: a hard walk. Saude soc. [online]. 2007, vol.16, n.3, pp. 35-51. ISSN 0104-1290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-12902007000300005.
This article analyses the determinants and the elements that condition the universalization process of public health in developed countries, especially in the European ones, and in Brazil, in order to outline their differences. The first part presents a selection of the main theories about the emergence of the Welfare State. Based on literature, it approaches the characteristics of that particular historic period and its articulation with the dominant capitalist accumulation pattern. The second part explains the conditions in which universal health services and actions in Brazil were defined. It is argued that the general conditions of capitalism are no longer the ones built in the post-war period. The new environment interacts and restrains the Brazilian process, mainly regarding the action of its State. It is emphasized that inequality is an important label of the Brazilian society, which could be seen as a barrier to implement the principle of universal health in the country. Even with the presence of inequality aspects, some advances in the health condition of the Brazilian population, according to the present study, have been reached after the emergence of SUS (the Brazilian National Health System), mainly with the Family Heath Program.
Palavras-chave : Determinants of Health; Inequality; Universality; Accumulation Pattern.