Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
MENDONCA, Maria Helena Magalhães de. The challenge of health care provision for children and adolescents as part of equitable public policies. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.18, suppl., pp. S113-S120. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2002000700012.
The author analyzes the new social policy shaped by the assimilation of the notion of integral social protection with a view towards equity. The premises marked the social reform contained in the wording of the 1988 Constitution and in the laws regulating the respective rights during the 1990s, including public social assistance, health care, and education. The article demonstrates how, in the former context, Brazil's children and adolescents were subject to great vulnerability due to their position in the country's social structure, aggravated by differential access to public goods and services. An analysis of the health care policy for children and adolescents, emphasizing an inter-sectoral approach and redefining social and health programs and measures in the 1990s, was not intended to be conclusive but did point to some trends in the reorganization of public social assistance policy for low-income youth, in keeping with gains obtained in social indicators of vulnerability in the areas of health, education, and labor during the last decade. Still, the author concludes that this policy reorientation renewed the tension between targeting more vulnerable segments of the population with selective measures as compared to universal and comprehensive access to social protection.
Keywords : Child Health; Adolescence; Social Assistance; Health Care; Equity.