Sanitary Reform Movement and Union Movement for Workers’ Health: an unwanted mismatch

Francisco Antonio de Castro Lacaz Ademar Arthur Chioro dos Reis Edvânia Ângela de Souza Lourenço Patrícia Martins Goulart Carla Andrea Trapé About the authors


This article discusses the origin of the Brazilian Sanitary Reform Movement (MRSB) from the review of the literature published in the journal ‘Saúde em Debate’, by the National Commission on Sanitary Reform, from 1980 to 2010. (MSST), and how the fragile social base of the Health Reform is related to the ‘divorce’ between them. It shows the progress achieved by the MSST in the late 1970s and 1980s in the implementation of Worker’s Health Programs, which were carried out by the Unions advised by their inter-union body, in the struggle for health at work, an issue which was disregarded by MRSB. With the hegemony of global neoliberal productive restructure in the country and structural unemployment, there is a decline in the action of the Union movement, weakening its role in the struggle for health at work, which could have potentiated the fight for Brazilian Sanitary Reform.

Health care reform; Labor unions; Occupational health; Unified Health System

Centro Brasileiro de Estudos de Saúde Av. Brasil, 4036, sala 802, 21040-361 Rio de Janeiro - RJ Brasil, Tel. 55 21-3882-9140, Fax.55 21-2260-3782 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil