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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


MACHADO, Cristiani Vieira. Health priorities in Brazil in the 1990s: three policies, many lessons. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2006, vol.20, n.1, pp.44-49. ISSN 1680-5348.

This paper, which focuses on the Brazilian Ministry of Health's agenda as the national health authority between 1990 and 2002, identifies and analyzes Ministry priorities. Three main policies were identified for the period: decentralization, establishment of a family health program, and the policy to combat AIDS. In general, the initial design of these policies was consistent with the guidelines of the Brazilian public health system (SUS). However, discrepancies were found between the universalistic agenda of the Brazilian health reform carried out in the 1980s and the hegemonic agenda of state reform that prevailed in the country in the 1990s, which had liberal roots and did not favor the expansion of government actions and comprehensive social policies. Within this unfavorable political and economic context, the development of specific health policies prioritized by the Brazilian Ministry of Health revealed unsolved problems and gaps in the public health system and limitations in the Ministry's ability to exercise its role as national health authority.

Keywords : decentralization; health policy; family health program; acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; SUS (BR); Brazil.

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