This is a theoretical essay about the development of the concept of solidarity, a word used in the regulatory framework and in political proposals to reorient the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS). The methodology consisted of mapping authors addressing human action aspects related to this theme from Durkheim’s tradition, linking them to his followers, like Marcel Mauss and authors from the “anti-utilitarianism” movement in social sciences. Solidarity is one way to express a “gift” and appears as a multidimensional action, where duty and freedom, instrumental interest and disinterest interpose and interlace. The planning and execution of sanitary surveillance (VISA) actions requires comprehension of organizational forms and solidary relationship management among agents involved in health risk control, transcending the strongly normative aspect of the prevailing supervision actions. The development of associative actions involving sanitary surveillance professionals, economic agents and consumers, aiming to share the responsibilities in the health risk control of products, services and environments subjected to Sanitary Surveillance action is suggested.
Sociology; Healthcare Planning and Management; Sanitary Surveillance; Health risk management