Cadernos de Saúde Pública
versão impressa ISSN 0102-311X
GIOVANELLA, Ligia et al. Health on the borders: access to and demands on the Brazilian National Health System by foreigners and non-resident Brazilians in cities along the border with MERCOSUR countries from the perspective of municipal health secretaries. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.23, suppl.2, pp. S251-S266. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2007001400014.
In the context of forming common markets, border areas require special attention, since they anticipate the effects of integration processes. Along borders, different political, monetary, security, and social systems coexist; the intensification of flows resulting from integration raises challenges for the health systems, requiring specific policies focused on guaranteeing the right to health. This article presents the results of a study on the conditions for access to (and demands for) health services in the MERCOSUR border cities. A survey was performed with municipal health secretaries in the 69 Brazilian cities in the States of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná, and Mato Grosso do Sul that border on the other MERCOSUR countries. The study attempted to identify the services demanded by the border population, mechanisms used for access, flows between services and systems, response strategies, and local agreements. Initiatives for cooperation between Brazilian and foreign local administrators were identified in nearly half of the municipalities and can orient the formulation of guidelines for border situations, allowing improvement in comprehensive access to health care.
Palavras-chave : Border Areas; Health Policy; Health Services; Health Systems.