To analyze the social representation of access to the health system, before and after the implantation of the Unified Health System, in the view of health professionals and users.
A study based on the Theory of Social Representations, developed in six health institutions in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The convenience sample consisted of 102 health professionals and 104 users. Data collection was carried out between 2009 and 2010 through the technique of semi-directed interviews and the analysis of the corpus performed by the mechanized lexical analysis technique, by the software Alceste.
The elementary context units were divided into two major thematic blocks, which discuss health as the right of all and the duty of the state. The interviewees point out differences before and after the implementation of the new health system, which ensures access to all, regardless of the employment relationship, but consider this characteristic as responsible for excessive demand and delay in care.
The dimension of the attitudes of the representation shows a negative position in front of the difficulties of implementation of the system and positive in front of the rights conquered, besides a fragmented knowledge of the principles of the Unified Health System.
health services accessibility; equity in access; universal access to health care services; unified health system