Brazilian health: right or privilege?

drugs

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Luiza Ferro Marques Moraes, a first year medical student at the 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.


Dengue, Zika, Chicungunha, Ebola, Burnout, depression and anxiety. Does it take more to show that Brazil is sick? Health has always been our greatest wealth, but maybe now it has been turned into a “privilege”.

It may sound strange to talk about privileges in health, as here in Brazil it is an universal right, but does it actually work? It is a fact that we have got a lot of problems related to health, no institution is perfect, but the discrepancy in the access to medicines and medical procedures, when we compare regions, or maybe economical spheres (public or private), is alarming. Maybe that is a restricted “right”.(2)

The question is: why is this right restricted and health has become a privilege?

Brazil is a capitalist country (or at least tries to be). Whoever moves the chess pieces of this capitalist game is concerned with winning, not guaranteeing the rights of the citizens. And how does one gain in health? It is a cycle: weak investment in public health and privatization proposals.

The Brazilian public health system – Unified Health System (SUS) – is one of the most perfects, but only in theory.(1) All of us, Brazilian citizens, have the right to vaccines, medicines, medical assistance, maneging and other things. The reality, however, is that the state cares little about investing and manage this system, which leads to several cases of corruption and deficiencies in the SUS. (4)

Given this precarious public health, capitalists take advantage of the ease that the Government shamelessly provides for private companies and invest in “private” health here in the country, as they know that the middle and upper classes will use this medium and will bring profits to these companies.(3)

The lower class population, which represents almost 70% of Brazilians, is therefore dependent on a system full of corruption and deficiencies! It is sad to see that the majority of the population has no other way of getting access to health and that the fault of this problem, most of the time, lies with the people that this population has elected to represent them in government. (3)

Understanding this cycle, it becomes obvious why there is such a discrepancy in Brazilian health, especially with regard the economic environment. (2) It is contradictory to think that those who were chosen to represent and improve SUS are the same ones that neglect services for this system and still facilitate the rise of private companies, but it is our reality here in Brazil. Health, a right that has become a privilege.

References

  1. Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS): estrutura, princípios e como funciona. [Acesso em 2019 ago 23]. Disponível em: http://www.saude.gov.br/sistema-unico-de-saude
  2. Melo MFGC. Relações público-privadas no sistema de saúde brasileiro [tese]. Campinas Universidade Esta- dual de Campinas; 2017.
  3. Sestelo JAF. Planos e seguros de saúde do Brasil de 2000 a 2015 e a dominância financeira [tese]. Rio de Janeiro: Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; 2017.
  4. Paim JS. A Constituição Cidadã e os 25 anos do Sistema Único de Saúde. Cad Saude Publica 2013; 29(10):1927- 1953.

About the author

Luiza Ferro Marques Moraes is a first year medical student at the Pontifical Catholic University of Goiás, Brazil. Besides the interest in the biological area and medicine, she always liked to study about politics and society, especially involving Brazil. She believes that life is made of moments! All of them will come and bring us knowledge, so we should be fully present in each and enjoy them to the best of our ability. At IFMSA, she has already created and coordinated a project called “Gincana Solidária”, was part of the Intimacy Station at the 1st Health Fair and is a member of IFMSA BRAZIL PUC-GO.

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

It’s time to get serious about the causes of pandemics: UN report

When will Eurozone’s unemployment rate stop being Europe’s worst nightmare?

Gender equality within junior enterprises: the effect of President’s gender

Planes can now fly for 21 hours non-stop. But are people ready?

COP21 Breaking News: China has promised to cut emissions from its coal power plants by 60% by 2020

Drought in Europe: Commission presents additional measures to support farmers

Flexible jobs can make work-life balance worse, a German study finds

Commission tries to solidify the EU statistical system

Youth not prioritised in new Commission

New rules to help consumers join forces to seek compensation

YouTube stars get creative at UN, to promote tolerance

Renewable energy can get India’s returned rural migrants back to work

The Chinese solar panels suddenly became too cheap for Europe

With human rights under attack, UN chief unveils blueprint for positive change

What can each individual do to lessen the burden of mental health in times of the pandemic?

Millennials (and Gen X) – Here are the steps you should take to secure your financial future

In New Zealand it takes less than a day to start a business

Merkel had it her way with the refugees & immigrants but can Greece and Turkey deliver?

A Sting Exclusive: “Our Great Awakening, Rebuilding in a Culture of Collective Trauma”, by Dr Hokemeyer

It’s time to switch to a four-day working week, say these two Davos experts

Inaction on obesity stands in the way of sustainable development

“China will strive to enhance the performance of economic growth”, President Xi highlights from the World Economic Forum 2017 in Davos

Global spotlight on world drug problem ‘is personal’ for many families, says UN chief

Deaf advocate voices importance of sign languages as UN marks first commemoration

First EU-wide protection for whistle-blowers agreed

Senior UN official strongly condemns Southern California synagogue attack

Eurozone retail sales fall shows recession

Using the quarantine to your advantage

UN’s Guterres condemns ongoing airstrikes on Syria’s hospitals, medical workers

Which countries’ workers spend the longest (and shortest) in retirement?

“Decent working conditions for the young health workforce: what are the challenges and can we find solutions?”

Big world banks to pay $ 4.95bn for cheating customers; Is it a punishment or a gentle caress?

This ‘hidden killer’ is responsible for one in five deaths, and you might never have heard of it

Brexit and migration dominates the debate on October’s EU summit

Mental health as a tool of survival at the Pandemic

Progress made in UN talks to end Yemen war, Envoy lauds ‘positive and serious spirit’

Why Microsoft is a regular to Almunia’s

The Eurogroup has set Cyprus on fire

The Parliament defies a politically biased Banking Union

End discrimination against women and children affected by leprosy

The dark side of Diwali, festival of lights

Libya: €2 million in humanitarian assistance to cover basic needs

Antitrust: Commission provides guidance on allowing limited cooperation among businesses, especially for critical hospital medicines during the coronavirus outbreak

Scale of displacement across Myanmar ‘very difficult to gauge’, says UN refugee agency

How to future-proof India’s economy

Our indispensable problem: the paradox of modern plastics

Quelling antimicrobial resistance: a clinico-pharmacological exigency

A Sting Exclusive: “Our ambition is by 2020 Indonesia to become an emerging power of World’s Maritime Access”, reveals the Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of Indonesia in Brussels, treating WEF, ASEAN and EU-Indonesia relations on the eve of the World Economic Forum East Asia 2015 in Jakarta

This is what has led to the George Floyd protests in the United States

Why the 21st century’s biggest health challenge is our shared responsibility

Conditions deteriorating alarmingly in Yemen, warns senior UN official

ECB: Reaching the limits of its mandate to revive the Eurozone economy

Canada and EU officially sign the trade agreement that could open-up the road to TTIP

OECD leading multilateral efforts to address tax challenges from digitalisation of the economy

Franchise India 2016, returns in 14th year 

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “Chinese economy has great potential, resilience and ample space for policy adjustment”, China’s Vice President Li Yuanchao reassures from Davos

Syrian civilians must be protected amid ISIL executions and airstrikes: Bachelet

The EU lets the bankers go on rigging the benchmarks

‘Chance for peace’ in South Sudan finally within reach, declares UN Peacekeeping chief

Khashoggi murder trials must public and meet international standards, UN expert urges

More Stings?

Advertising

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