Healthcare provision and humanization



The debate over the quality of healthcare in Brazil occupies a crucial place on the national agenda due to the numerous obstacles in the provision of care. Such quality of care is linked intrinsically to the use of technologies, knowledge, and resources that are both adequate and available in the unique context of the interface between those who suffer (whether individuals or populations) and those dedicated to mitigating this suffering (health professionals, managers, and staff).

What is at stake is a proposal that seeks to enhance a critical analysis of the logics and relations that shape and give meaning to the prevailing healthcare model. Such a critique should be reconstructive and strategically focused on proposals. And these healthcare proposals (whether for children, women, or the general population) are empowered under the broad and polysemous term "humanization", highlighting differences, valuing the roles of professionals and patients, and placing dialogue at the center of the process.

The debate over humanization wagers on re-signified relational processes, with a greater reciprocity between life expectations, happiness, and provision of care as the horizon. In this sense, the treatment process gains greater cultural and affective validity, expanding its legitimacy.

However, like any proposal that is both a theoretical and philosophical guideline and a discursive field, besides materializing as institutionalized action, this specific proposal requires an analysis of its incorporation, interpretations, and appropriation in the daily practice of health services. How are proposals for humanization incorporated into the rules, hierarchies, and negotiations of healthcare institutions? How are "humanization policies" transformed into practical action, and how are they renegotiated by the stakeholders in this practical action? Analyzing the obstacles and potentialities in light of the experiences thus becomes a dialectically necessary exercise.

What potential for the transformation of a theoretical and healthcare provision model do these proposals contain, and how do they affect the stakeholders? The current thematic issue of the journal focuses on precisely this debate, issuing an invitation for a critical view that is reshaped in the political action of the discourses and the material dynamics of the care provided by Brazil’s health services.  


Suely Ferreira Deslandes
e José Ricardo de Carvalho Mesquita Ayres
Guest editors

ABRASCO - Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: revscol@fiocruz.br