Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
TAKAHASHI, Mara Alice Batista Conti and IGUTI, Aparecida Mari. Changes in workers' rehabilitation procedures under the Brazilian social security system: modernization or underminingof social protection?. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.11, pp. 2661-2670. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2008001100021.
This article describes the changes in workers' rehabilitation practices under the Brazilian National Social Security Institute (INSS) in the 1990s, in the context of neoliberal economic adjustment measures, based on an analysis of INSS documents from 1992 to 1997. The INSS plan for "modernization" of workers' rehabilitation led to: (1) dismantling of multidisciplinary teams; (2) induction of workers to accept proportional retirement pensions and voluntary layoffs; (3) under-utilization of the remaining INSS professional staff; (4) elimination of treatment programs for workers' rehabilitation; and (5) dismantling of INSS rehabilitation centers and clinics. The changes in the Brazilian social security system undermined the county's social security project and hegemony and reduced social security reform to a mere management and fiscal issue. Current "rehabilitation" falls far short of the institution's original purpose of social protection for workers, while aiming at economic regulation of the system to contain costs of workers' benefits. Workers that suffer work-related accidents are denied occupational rehabilitation, which aggravates their social disadvantage when they return to work.
Keywords : Social Security; Occupational Health; Rehabilitation.