Marcelo Rasga Moreira José Mendes Ribeiro About the authors

THE YEAR 2016 WILL BE ANOTHER ONE THAT, in the history of Brazil, will not end on December 31. The deposition of President Dilma Rousseff, without any indications of crime that disabused her mandate, is a landmark of strong negative inflection in the short process of (re)democratization in Brazil.

Far from being the full stop of a political crisis that erupted in 2013 - which grew in the 2014 electoral process and worsened in the opposition's decision not to acknowledge their electoral defeat - the impeachment only aggravated it by instrumentalizing a violently polarized social environment, in which biased, racist, homophobic, sexist and fascist tendencies vie for public space with those who defend democracy, respect and appreciation of differences, culture of peace and social justice.

To make matters worse, the final quarter of 2016 scares the country with the crisis between the powers of the republic, which also includes the Public Ministry. That crisis polarizes the clash, in a process that, whatever the result, only reinforces the common sense of pure and simple criminalization of politics.

None of these conflicts will be closed this year, lingering for a period of time that, today, still seems undefined. Its reflexes in the health sector, already present, will be felt more dramatically from 2018 on, when the ceiling for financing the sector begins to take effect. The same ceiling, coupled with proposals for changes in social security, may also violently undermine the social protection structure that has been built in the country in recent years.

It is that political crisis, its causes, motivations, repercussions and impacts on democracy and on the health sector that this special issue of 'Saúde em Debate' deals with. It is symbolic that here we value the 40 years of Brazilian Center for Health Studies (Cebes), an institution emerged and forged in the struggle for democracy. The historical process that was the commemoration of this anniversary was more directed to the democratic struggle than to the valorization of its conquests, even more so since some of them may be threatened.

In such context, the essays, articles and interview of this special issue intend to invite the reader to make a series of reflections and debates on agendas and themes that permeate our incipient democracy, the political crisis that attacks it, and the direction of the health sector within an institutional and political environment like this.

The authors have produced a range of analyzes that are concerned with the different aspects of this moment in the country: (A) the struggle for democracy, its non-retraction and its radicalization; (B) gender and equity policies; (C) policies and institutions that promote social participation; (D) democratic agendas for the twenty-first century, in particular, ethics, marijuana decriminalization, discussion of the role of the media, and new forms of political manifestation; (D) social protection; (E) the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff; (F) the impacts of the political crisis on politics in the Unified Health System (SUS); and (G) the crisis of cooperative federalism in the health sector.

In addition to those, we highlight the interview with Antônio Ivo de Carvalho, who rescues another moment of political crisis in the country, that is, the military dictatorship, reflecting on the actions of the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) and the Movement for Sanitary Reform, pointing out and hopefully appreciating that the democratic struggles, the one from 40 years ago or current ones, are the engine of history and the basis of any change to a less unequal society, without prejudice and with fair material conditions of life and work.

We wish the readers a good reading and hope that this special issue will be widely used in classrooms, health councils and conferences, equity policy committees, seminars, de-bates and reflections, in order to contribute to new texts being written and, with that, building a network that supports the SUS and Brazilian democracy.

Marcelo Rasga Moreira
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), Sergio Arouca National School of Public Health (Ensp), Department of Social Sciences (DCS) - Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Brazil.
José Mendes Ribeiro
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), Sergio Arouca National School of Public Health (Ensp), Department of Social Sciences (DCS) - Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Brazil.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Dec 2016
Centro Brasileiro de Estudos de Saúde RJ - Brazil