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Trabalho, Educação e Saúde

On-line version ISSN 1981-7746


MENDONCA, Maria Helena Magalhães de. Professionalization and regulation of the community health agent's activity in the context of the sanitary reform. Trab. educ. saúde [online]. 2004, vol.2, n.2, pp.353-366. ISSN 1981-7746.

The article deals with the professionalization of the community health agent's activity in the context of the social reforms formulated during Brazil's return to democracy in the 80s and 90s, with emphasis on the Brazilian sanitary reform. The central argument is that there is a relationship between the projects for the renovation of social practices in health - such as the reorganization of basic health care through the Programmes of Community Health Agents (Pacs) and Family Health (PSF) - and the emergence of a new category of health worker that requires specific professional training and regulation of the activity in the health labour market. First, we look at the context in which the health social policies were defined as part of the development of a social citizenship, based on the principles of universality and equality between beneficiaries. In a second stage, we deal with the emergence of these new agents, the role they play in the changes taking place in the production of health and the State's role in producing norms to regulate the activity and its participation in the health labour market. Finally, we reflect upon the challenges that the recent regulation of the profession has brought for the professional training of health workers, challenges that contribute to the implementation of the Family Health strategy and help to consolidate the process of sectorial reform.

Keywords : Sanitary Reform; basic care; family health; professionalization of health agents.

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