Fighting against the Public Health System dismantling means guaranteeing assistance to all

public health_

(Arseny Togulev, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Davi Malcher, a 20 years old graduate student of the 6th period of Medicine, Universidade do Estado do Pará, Santarém, Amazonia, Brazil. He 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.

For many years in Brazil, it was necessary to be registered as a formal worker to receive free health care – a policy that was instituted after the 1964 Military Coup. With the fall of the dictatorial government in 1985, health professionals, local leaders and society began to discuss the following question: “what health system we want for Brazil?” This is how it emerged, through meetings known as National Health Conferences, the Unified Health System (SUS), established by Brazilian Law 8080/1990.

The SUS is a system that is based on principles of equity, universality and integrality1, and was for many years considered a world example due to its practices that democratized health in Brazil, because it opened the doors of free health to all human beings. Unfortunately, many challenges remain within this system. For example, the policy adopted in the country today, embodied in the President of the Republic, Mr. Jair Bolsonaro, seeks to reduce and freeze public investment in health, which is already below ideal2.

Concomitant with this process of dismantling the system, with the decrease in resources and the termination of departments, there is an exponential increase in health plans3, which charge users exorbitant prices, often higher than the Brazilian minimum wage. In this sense, it is necessary to fight for the public system. The low investment in public health in Brazil, in fact, is not a reflection of a financial crisis, but a deliberate dismantling to leverage the private sector.

Everyone in the world should think about their health systems and reflect on what philosophy they adopt, given that there is a global demand for more humane and effective health for those who need it most. To go against these principles is a mistake that may have no solution. Therefore, it is necessary to fight for public systems – in politics, in health care, in the community. After all, health is a Human Right and so it should be accessible to everyone regardless of income.


  1. Lei nº 8080/90. Presidência da República, 1990. Available in <>. Access in 08/22/2019 at 12 a.m.
  2. Para Bolsonaro, SUS não precisa de mais recursos. Available in <>. Access in 08/21/2019 at 8 p.m.
  3. Cresce total de usuários de planos de saúde no país, segundo ANS. Available in <>. Access in 08/21/2019 at 9 p.m.

About the author

The article was written by Mr. Davi Malcher, a 20 years old graduate student of the 6th period of Medicine, Universidade do Estado do Pará, Santarém, Amazonia, Brazil. He is a member of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations of Brazil (IFMSA Brazil) and has been working on IFMSA Brazil's National Human Rights and Peace Team since 2018.

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