Health privatization to blame for health inequality or poor investment in public health?


(Piron Guillaume, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Camila Assunção, a second-year medical student at Pontifical Catholic University of
Goiás, 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 strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The transformations of capitalism and financialization significantly affect health in many countries, especially those in the developing world. At the same time, progressive forces, in general and in health, would be in need of project articulation and updating, as society around the world is threatened by regressive policies, even though global technological advance is notorious.

The privatization of health, therefore, comes from poor investment and poor public health management, resulting in great inequality in this area.

It is undeniable that, first and foremost, national health systems are political creations. However, concepts between public and private can be treated from different perspectives and have a wide variety of social and historical meanings.

Some studies state that the private sector has more health spending than the public sector, which demonstrates the need for further studies on this topic. In addition, there is a myth that states that the quality of private service is superior to that of the private sector. public service. (1).

Gramsci, an Italian philosopher, has stated that it is very common for a particular social group, which is subordinate to another group, to adopt its conception of the world, even if it is in contradiction with its reality. Therefore, the subordinate’s conception of the world is imposed and totally alienated, so there is a contrast between thinking and doing (2).

This is health-related due to mismanagement of the systems, and then, as a for-profit resource, the government imposes a complete privatization of resources on the community regardless of the size of existing social inequality.

Finally, it is noted that the appreciation of the private sector in relation to the public is due to an inefficient debate in society about what it means to be subjected to the totally private system.

The ideas that structure privatization still need to be matured and criticized in order to establish a single and universal health system, but it is up to us. It’s time to think globally, act locally: Is improving public health one of our top concerns?


  1. B. RR. Saúde em Foco, Edição no: 08/Ano: 2016. Saúde em Foco. 2016;8:28–44.
  2. Ana Rodrigues Cavalcanti Alves. O conceito de hegemonia : de Gramsci a Laclau e Mouffe Ana Rodrigues Cavalcanti Alves. Lua Nova, São Paulo. 2010;80:71–96.

About the author

Camila Assunção is a second-year medical student at Pontifical Catholic University of
Goiás, Brazil. She is Local Officer of the IFMSA Brazil. President of the Academic
League of Oncology and Hematology of PUC-GO. She is part of the research project:
"Use of CAR-T cells in immunotherapy for the treatment of blood cancer: systematic review”. She loves learning and knowing more about science, believes that training more humanized health professionals is the key to improving the quality of life in Brazil.













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