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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

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


RIBEIRO, Carla Trevisan Martins et al. The public health care system and rehabilitation actions in Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.1, pp.43-48. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To produce a historical account of rehabilitation actions in the context of the Brazilian Unified Health Care System (SUS). METHODS: Search of SciELO, LILACS, and MEDLINE databases for literature published between 1980 and 2009. The following Portuguese search terms were used: Sistema Único de Saúde, reabilitação, políticas de saúde, assistência médica, história. The English terms "rehabilitation" and "public health" were also used. Federal laws and Ministry of Health manuals available at the city of Rio de Janeiro Coordinating Office for Rehabilitation Programs, Fundação Instituto Oswaldo Cruz library, and in BIREME database were also surveyed. RESULTS: Only a small number of publications were recovered (four books, three Health Ministry manuals, four articles published in Brazil, one master's thesis, and one doctoral dissertation). Nevertheless, analysis of these materials revealed that since many municipalities are still incapable of ensuring the right to universal and comprehensive health care, rehabilitation actions are often carried out in a precarious manner, unsupported by an adequate and comprehensive policy. On the other hand, there have been real improvements in terms of expanding care to the population with special needs. CONCLUSIONS: There still are factors hindering the achievement of optimal results in the care to people with special needs. The challenge of action planning must be undertaken especially by municipal governments to ensure an adequate supply of services and thus equity of access and comprehensive health care.

Keywords : Public policies; rehabilitation; Single Health System; Brazil.

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