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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


PESSOTO, Umberto Catarino et al. Health care services utilization and access inequalities in the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Region. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2007, vol.12, n.2, pp.351-362. ISSN 1678-4561.

This paper presents case study findings in five municipalities in the São Paulo Metropolitan Region. Inequalities in access to health care services and their utilization were described through advanced tabulation data from the 1998 SEADE Life Conditions Survey. The variables analyzed were: owning or not owning private health care insurance, income and age brackets. The health care service attributes studied were: health care services coverage by a health insurance plan, health services demands and average waiting time to receive health care. Compared with other studies, using the 1998 IBGE PNAD, the results allowed us to confirm interregional imbalances which can only be detected in shorter special scale studies: the municipalities. Despite showing the high private health insurances coverage the São Paulo Metropolitan Region has a great inner heterogeneity. The inequalities in private health care insurance, access, waiting time, and type of insurance coverage were observed through income quintiles and age classes analyses. Findings suggest that an expansion of the State's regulation capacity is necessary in order to empower the Brazilian Health Care System principles of universality and equity to be qualified to offer Brazilians the right to access health care services.

Keywords : Public/private relationship; Health inequalities; São Paulo Metropolitan Region.

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