Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
GUIMARAES, Raul Borges. Health regions and geographic scales. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2005, vol.21, n.4, pp.1017-1025. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2005000400004.
The present article aims to discuss how the so-called health regions have been organized in Brazil since the respective governing ruling was issued (NOAS - SUS 01/2001). In order to clarify this new context, the author emphasises such concepts as region and geographic scale. The regional division under this ruling is based on the regional planning concept underlying the country's territorial policies since the founding of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). However, the apportionment in health regions has been both a requirement for improving the Unified National Health System (SUS) and a qualitative change in the national health policy. It is necessary to move forward by relating the regional division to the issue of scale. What is at stake is whether the regionalization of health in Brazil represents an improvement in the mediations between the various scales in the SUS.
Keywords : Regional Health Planning; Health Policy; Medical Geography.