Áurea Ianni Eunice Nakamura

This issue of Saúde e Sociedade, starts off with a collection of articles that contribute to the current political debate concerning the proposals of change to the SUS and its implications, especially in what regards the defense of the universal right to health.

We introduce the debate with the article "Social justice and equity in health: an approach centered in the functioning", a theoretical essay that analyzes the conceptions of social justice linked to the issue of equity in health, addressed by the author as a political strategy aiming at "overcoming the inequities among those who have and those who have not attained the desired equity concerning the right to health." This initial thought is followed by articles that put into question the universality of this right by discussing the use and access to health services by different social groups: prison population, foreigners and rural populations. These debates are presented here, not only in the context of diversity, heterogeneity and inequity of the Brazilian population, but also regarding problems of similar nature faced in other countries of South America, as shown in the study about rural women's access to maternal health in Argentina.

If the need to transform inequity situations in the equity desired is evident in these articles, two of them point to possibilities of social justice through the economic and political dimensions of redistribution. The first, by analyzing social control in health, and the second, through an essay on the Conditioned Income Transfer Programs of different countries.

The theme of (in)justice also goes over issues of use and access to natural resources, in particular water, object of not only environmental but also political and economic debate, and currently in the spotlight due to the water shortage faced by the State of São Paulo.

In the article "Environmental conflicts and the waters of the São Francisco river", the authors discuss the processes of "environmental injustice", highlighting the relationships between the use of natural resources, political domination and economic appropriation, aspects that tend to aggravate other conflicts involving vulnerable population groups. Therefore, the article relates to those previously mentioned by discussing the access to and use of water, in close relation to health, from the perspective of social determinants.

The interface between environmental, health and labor issues is brought to light in articles that discuss the perception of risk; the importance of the notion of commodity chains for the discussion of health surveillance strategies, work and the environment; the focus on vulnerabilities of environmental health information systems with emphasis on the issue of risk of housing to health; and the accidents that result from work-related activities. In these articles, perspectives of socio-cultural and economic analysis highlight the context of globalization and social inequities.

Other articles contribute to the debate about health access and care by discussing certain concepts and practices present in institutional policies, professionals discourses and that of different social groups, on equally relevant and current themes: the perception of CAPS professionals on deinstitutionalization; women users of crack and racism; generation and gender in health research; "fatigue" as a guiding category for the experiences of pulmonary disease patients; and the process of social medicalization in the field of odontology.

Also worthy of note is the contribution of foreign authors. In "Disability in public education: an exploratory study in Physical Education textbooks in Brazil", Spanish researchers analyze the representation and participation of people with disabilities in physical activities, from pictures in books published in Brazil for use in Physical Education. And in "Medical error in the Portuguese press: when patients are part of the news", collaborators in the University of Minho touch the process of production of news on medical error, with a documental research in the Portuguese press.

The collection of articles that integrate this issue incites us to reflect, either because of the actuality and relevance of the themes covered, or because of the richness of the approaches, in the interface between social, human, health and environmental sciences that allow us to foresee new perspectives to the debate.

Good reading!

Áurea IanniEunice Nakamura

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Oct-Dec 2015
Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. SP - Brazil
E-mail: saudesoc@usp.br