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Saúde e Sociedade

versão impressa ISSN 0104-1290versão On-line ISSN 1984-0470


KALCKMANN, Suzana; SANTOS, Claudete Gomes dos; BATISTA, Luís Eduardo  e  CRUZ, Vanessa Martins da. Institutional Racism: a challenge to equity in the National Health System (SUS)?. Saude soc. [online]. 2007, vol.16, n.2, pp.146-155. ISSN 1984-0470.

Institutional racism is defined as the collective failure of an organization to provide appropriate and professional services for people because of their color, culture or ethnic roots. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviors that produce discrimination due to unintentional prejudice, ignorance, negligence and racism stereotypes, causing dis-advantage to people belonging to ethnic minorities. The practice of institutional racism in the health area affects specially the black and indigenous populations. The present article aims to present an investigation into opinions about the existence of racism in the health services. To achieve this, an exploratory study was conducted, approved by the Committee for Research Ethics of the Health Institute (Instituto de Saúde do Estado de São Paulo), with the analysis of a self-administered survey delivered to those who attended the 2nd Black Population Health Seminar of the state of São Paulo, which was held in the city of São Paulo on May 17, 2005. The results show that the black population has been discriminated in the health units, both as users and as professionals. It was verified that the health services, through their professionals, increase the vulnerability of those groups, enlarging access barriers, reducing the possibility of dialog and causing the withdrawal of users. In light of these findings, it is believed that it is important to stimulate discussions about the topic and develop studies to give visibility to the inequities and, therefore, contribute to the understanding of how discrimination acts in the black population's health.

Palavras-chave : Institutional Racism; Black Population's Health; Race Discrimination.

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