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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

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


ELIAS, Margareth Pereira; MONTEIRO, Lúcia Maria Costa  and  CHAVES, Celia Regina. Accessibility of legal benefits available in Rio de Janeiro for physically handicapped people. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2008, vol.13, n.3, pp.1041-1050. ISSN 1678-4561.

According to PAHO, only 2 % of Latin America's 85 million disabled people receive adequate medical care. Ten percent of the world's population lives with disabilities without having access to their constitutional rights. Disability must be addressed on several levels: medical, rehabilitative, social and political. Disability is strongly linked to poverty. Stigma, discrimination and inability to pay limit access to health services and education and ill-health increases the treatment cost, creating a vicious circle that must be broken. Although the Constitution grants rights to disabled persons including access to health and education, these legal benefits are not always obtained or respected. To better understand and address the problem, the process for obtaining three of these legal benefits was studied among disabled pediatric patients with myelomeningocele in a specialized Institute in Rio de Janeiro. Results show a low achievement rate. Bureaucracy and the expenses with locomotion were main constrains worsened by lack of time and resources in families struggling with poverty. Other difficulties were lack of professional attention and confidence in the system, problems related to documents, unqualified educational system and locomotion constrains.

Keywords : Disabled person; Myelomeningocele; Legal benefits.

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