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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

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Abstract

MOONEY, Gavin  and  HOUSTON, Shane. Equity in health care and institutional trust: a communitarian view. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.5, pp. 1162-1167. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2008000500024.

Communitarianism acknowledges and values, and not just instrumentally, the bonds that unite and identify communities. Communitarians also value community per se. This paper argues that trust is likely to be stronger in communities where these bonds are greater. Equity in health care is a social phenomenon. In health care, it is apparent that more communitarian societies, such as Scandinavia and within Aboriginal Australia, are likely to value more equity-orientated systems. Where, as in the latter case, this desire for equity takes place against a background of the powerful dominant (white) society treating the minority (black) society as dependent, Aboriginal trust in Australian society and in its public institutions is eroded. Lack of trust and inequity then come to the fore. This paper discusses institutional trust as a facilitator of equity in health care in the specific context of Indigenous health. The example used is Australian Aboriginal health but the principles would apply to other Indigenous populations as in for example South America.

Keywords : Equity in Health; Delivery of Health Care; Indigenous Population; Community-Institutional Relations.

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