Brazilian public health system and universality: a forgotten right!

Rio Brazil 2019

(Raphael Nogueira, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Thamires Guedes Leite Moyses, a 3rd year medical student at Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Brazil has a free public health system (Sistema Único de Saúde – SUS), which is based on three pillars: universality, completeness and equity. According to Article 196 of the Brazilian Constitution, health is the right of everyone and the duty of the State, therefore, universality is the guarantee of access of the entire population to health services, at all levels of care, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, naturalness or sexual orientation.

However, in spite of Brazil being known for cordiality, we still live in a machist, racist and intolerant country, including with immigrants, even with the mixigenation that we possess.

According to our Constitution and SUS guidelines, all those who are in Brazilian territory have the right of access to public health, even if they don’t have any document, however, there is often a noncompliance with this right and an omission of the State, because we have a lack of information and inadequate preparation of health professionals, who know little about the specificities of the migratory issue and the rights of immigrants.

This context could be perceived in recent months with the intense influx of immigrants from Venezula to Brazil, the population is choosing to face dangers so that they can arrive in a place with a language and culture totally new, for the purpose of a dignified life.

However, when they arrive here, they face conditions that put them in situations of vulnerability ranging from slave labor, disrespect to cultural diversity, disinformation, discrimination until difficulty in accessing health, showing the unpreparedness of our country. This raises a question about the principle of universality, and it’s clear that we need to think of proposals for confrontation that can guarantee access to social rights, especially health, as a pillar necessary for the well-being of the human being.

Moreover, thinking about this situation in a large part of the world, including in my country, we need to think: how can we help and ensure that migrants have their rights guaranteed and have decent living conditions? The IFMSA has two committees that can act strongly with the population on this case, SCORP and SCOPH, where we deal with issues of human rights and peace and public health, support projects are already being carried out to immigrants in situations of vulnerability in addition to raising awareness of the general population about the importance of offering support to these people.

However, despite the action of us, medical students, be very important, we need that the Government works for our constitution to be respected, because almost nothing is said about the health of immigrants.

Therefore, the need to improve public health policies and management is evident, preparing the entire population to meet these demands of immigrant populations that have different specificities and vulnerabilities, and it is necessary to adopt strategies that guarantee health rights in Brazil, so those people who have seen in Brazil the hope of prosperity, have a life of rights, free of discrimination or any impediment of access to full citizenship.

About the author

Thamires Guedes Leite Moyses is a 3rd year medical student at Pontifical Catholic
University of São Paulo, Brazil. In her university she works at IFMSA BRAZIL PUC SP as a
Local Public Health Officer Director (LPO-D) and at Santé Júnior, the junior company of
medical and nursing students of PUCSP and seeksto discuss and work with health
manager and innovation. She believes that public health is fundamental to moving our
world and always tries to participate in discussions, projects and campaigns in the
area, inside and outside the IFMSA.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

US pardons for accused war criminals, contrary to international law: UN rights office

Our food system is no longer fit for the 21st century. Here are three ways to fix it

‘Comprehensively include migrants’ or sustainable development won’t happen, warns General Assembly President

MEPs commend Ukraine‘s reform efforts and denounce Russian aggression

World response to AIDS epidemic at a ‘critical juncture’

How tomorrow’s buildings will make you – and the planet – healthier

What will it take for the world’s third-largest economy to empower women?

Amid ‘volatile’ environment, UN mission chief urges Iraqi leaders to ‘listen to the voice of the people’

Harmonised Unemployment Rates (HURs), OECD – Updated: February 2020

Finance for SMEs: Alternative supply mechanisms do exist

‘No country, no region’ can tackle global challenges alone says UN’s Mohammed

Women vital for ‘new paradigm’ in Africa’s Sahel region, Security Council hears

US, Russia oblige each other in Syria and Ukraine selling off allies

Budget Committee backs €2.3 million worth of aid to help 550 redundant media workers in Greece

With rapid, far-reaching changes, world can prevent climate change worst-case scenarios – UN chief

The future of work requires a return to apprenticeships

These are the top 10 emerging technologies of 2019

Commission presents its response to Antisemitism and a survey showing Antisemitism is on the rise in the EU

Mexico: Helping refugees go into business, a ‘win-win situation’, says UNHCR’s Grandi

My disability, my identity

Want a more inclusive society? Start with mobility

5 surprising ways digital technology is changing childhood

Turkey caught in a vicious Syrian circle bringing terror and war at home

Female leaders warn about the erosion of women’s rights

Eurozone: Negative statistics bring deflation and recession closer

Hungary must enforce its foreign bribery offence against companies, including foreign subsidiaries

Financial transactions tax gets go ahead

Connected Claims Europe on 18-19 September 2019, in association with The European Sting

This is what Belgium’s traffic-choked capital is doing about emissions

iSting: a reader’s thoughts on the UN Environment Assembly 2017

Women’s rights in Asia – how far have we come?

Bundesbank’s President Weidmann criticises France and the EU. Credibility at risk?

Releasing trapped value is key to success in the digital world

Governments can fight corruption by joining the digital payment revolution

COP21 Breaking News_12 December: 195 countries adopt the First Universal Climate Agreement

In Rome you can swap plastic bottles for metro tickets

When is Berlin telling the truth about the EU banking union?

UN chief welcomes resolution to 27-year-old disagreement over renaming the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

GSMA head urges regulators to help Europe regain leadership

Who is responsible for public health? The tendencies and its benefits –or not– on Health Education around the world

Can agroforestry save India’s rivers and the farms that depend on them?

Financial system risk is elevated and global standards are essential in managing cross-border infrastructure investment

70 years on, landmark UN human rights document as important as ever

IMF cuts global growth outlook, but predicts pick up later in 2019

Ground-breaking clean air protocol to guard human health and the planet, enters into force

The future looks bright for solar energy

Commission hardens its stance against carmakers ensuring emissions reductions targets

Four in five adolescents failing to exercise for even 60 minutes a day, UN health agency warns

4 ways Africa can prepare its youth for the digital economy

It’s EU vs. Google for real: the time is now, the case is open

From diamonds to recycling: how blockchain can drive responsible and ethical businesses

It’s Brexit again: Nigel Farage launches a personal campaign to lead the ‘No’ front

5 things we get wrong about young people, according to a US study

New forms of work: deal on measures boosting workers’ rights

Japanese law professor elected new judge at the International Court of Justice

Promoting Primary Health Care to the Young Health Workforce: a new approach

Will Turkey abandon the refugee deal and risk losing a bonanza of money?

Microsoft says the internet is getting a little nicer

Who should be responsible for protecting our personal data?

Eurozone closer to a deflation – stagnation trap

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s