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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

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


COSTA, Nilson do Rosário et al. Psychiatric reform, federalism, and the decentralization of the public health in Brazil. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.12, pp.4603-4614. ISSN 1678-4561.

This study examines the relationships between Brazilian psychiatric reform, the adoption of the Centers for Psychosocial Care (CAPS) and the development of the Unified Health System (SUS). The adherence of municipal governments was a variable determinant for the spread of reform, especially due to the continental scale and fragmentation of the Brazilian federation. The article demonstrates the institutional stability of psychiatric reform in Brazil over two decades. The institutional nature of the decision-making process in the public arena has permitted the implementation of new organizational formats through imitation and financial incentives. The psychiatric reform was successful in defending the advantages of CAPS in relation to the asylum and hospital model dominant in past decades. The inductive policies, strengthened and upheld by Law 10.216/2001, transformed the agenda of psychiatric reform, limited to pioneering cities in a national public policy.

Keywords : Psychiatric reform; Decentralization; Federalism; Local Government; CAPS; Brazil.

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