Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
TRAVASSOS, Claudia. Equity in the Brazilian Health Care System: a contribution for debate. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1997, vol.13, n.2, pp.325-330. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X1997000200024.
In this article it is discussed some relevant issues in regard to inequalities in the consumption of health care services and the construction of more equitable health care system in Brazil. The concept of inequalities in health is distinguished from the concept of inequalities in the consumption of health care services. It is argued that the geographical dimension of health care service consumption differs from the social dimension. This implies that a better distribution of financial resources between geographical regions acts at the level of regional inequalities but might not have a positive impact on existing social inequalities. A more equitable system depends on a greater participation on the financing of the system of the richer people. It depends on the solidarity of the different social groups in society. The present situation of great scarcity of financial resources calls for a definition of priorities. Nonetheless, it is argued that the establishment of priorities in the availability of health care services is an ethical approach only if it is assumed to be a transient strategy directed to the construction of a system based in universal access for all those in need.
Keywords : Equity; Health Care Service Consumption; Financing of Health Care Services; Health System.