versão On-line ISSN 1851-8265
BRIGGS, Charles L. e MANTINI-BRIGGS, Clara. "Mission barrio adentro": social medicine, social movements of the poor and new coalitions in Venezuela. Salud Colectiva [online]. 2007, vol.3, n.2, pp. 159-176. ISSN 1851-8265. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1851-82652007000200005.
In Venezuela, both local and national governments created a parallel national health system, Mission Barrio Adentro (MBA), that placed some 33,000 health professionals, initially Cubans, in low-income neighborhoods. Ethnographic research and interviews suggest that MBA provided access to healthcare and gained popular support due the combined effects of social movements of the poor; collaborations between community workers, residents, public health officials and politicians; integration of healthcare with social and economic programs; physicians' residence in low-income neighborhoods; positive, egalitarian doctor-patient interactions; the crucial role of neighborhood Health Committees; and the impact of hostility from the press, a large segment of Venezuelan doctors, and the Opposition in converting MBA into a major political issue. This case suggests that the State can confront health inequities effectively when policies are generated within underserved communities by fusing social medicine and critical epidemiology perspectives with those of residents. Flexible, non-bureaucratic, and creative institutional structures enhance effectiveness.
Palavras-chave : Health Services Needs and Demand; Health Priorities; Venezuela; Health Inequalities.