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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

Print version ISSN 1413-8123


TRAVASSOS, Denise Vieira et al. The judicialization of health care: a case study of three state courts in Brazil. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2013, vol.18, n.11, pp.3419-3429. ISSN 1413-8123.

The scope of this study was to describe and compare records of the results of lawsuits filed in three Brazilian courts in cases involving the Unified Health System. A survey was made of the judgments listed on electronic sites of Courts of Justice in the states of Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais using a specific script. A total of 558 judgments was analyzed. There was a greater frequency of ordinary lawsuits (73.1%). In the majority of cases, it was not possible to identify the economic situation of the plaintiff or the legal representative of the defendant (54.5%). In cases where such identification was possible, a public defender was the most common (71.5%). The cases were predominantly individual in all three states. There was a large number of requests for injunctions (83.8%), which were almost always granted (91.2%), with the allegation of urgency/emergency in almost all cases (98.8%). The majority of decisions were favorable to the users of the public healthcare system (97.8%). The decisions studied showed that the users sought to ensure their right to health individually, using the public authorities to file their lawsuit, but there is a perceived difference in posture between legal courts evaluated. There is a strong tendency of the judiciary to accept these requests.

Keywords : Right to health; Unified health system; Jurisprudence.

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