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

Dinner with friends: how Switzerland is relaxing its coronavirus lockdown

Across Europe, people are struggling to make ends meet. We need a common response immediately.

Mindfulness: a freedom we can still have in the pandemic

Hate speech exacerbating societal, racial tensions with ‘deadly consequences around the world’, say UN experts

GSMA Announces First Keynote Speakers for 2019 “MWC Los Angeles, in Partnership with CTIA”

Erasmus+ and its predecessors: a life-changing experience for 10 million young Europeans

Europe bows to Turkey’s rulers, sends Syrian refugees back to chaos

These are the world’s least – and most – corrupt countries

UN rights chief ‘extremely concerned’ over deadly crackdown on protesters in Iran

The London City-EU connection holds despite of Brexit and the ban of LSE-Deutsche Börse merger

On their epic journeys, migratory birds connect nations and inspire people, UN says on World Day

What is systemic racism, and how can we combat it?

This Pacific island has banned fishing to allow the marine ecosystem to recover

Brexit update: Leave campaign leads race but undecided voters will determine the outcome of the EU referendum

Rising human trafficking takes on ‘horrific dimensions’: almost a third of victims are children

Rise in Caribbean children displaced by storms shows climate crisis is a child rights issue: UNICEF

No way out for Eurozone’s stagnating economy

Do we judge robots on their colour? This study says we do

Austria: reforms will be necessary to uphold high well-being levels

$1.4 billion needed this year to fund UN’s agency for Palestine refugees

Here’s why leaders need to care about mental health

‘Complacency is still strong’ over stopping genocide, says top UN adviser

‘Protracted crisis’ in Venezuela leads to ‘alarming escalation of tensions’: UN political chief

UN chief hails Libyan leaders’ agreement to hold general election

The missiles fired against Damascus, Syria divided Europe deeply

UN Human Rights Council resolution on youth and human rights: a step forward for youth rights

Public health through universal health coverage can help to attain many SDGs

EU summit: Are the London Tories planning an exit from the EU?

The Amazon is reaching a dangerous tipping-point. We need to scale solutions now if we have any chance of saving it

UN expert condemns new sentence for jailed Venezuelan judge as ‘another instance of reprisal’

2 trillion drinks containers are made every year – so where do they go?

UK: Customs Union with EU or a longer delay of Brexit

Number of members in Parliament’s committees to change after Brexit

UN forum to explore use of outer space to improve lives, protect planet

A ‘charismatic leader’ dedicated to making the world a better place for all: officials bid farewell to former UN chief Kofi Annan

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2014: The Digital Era: A New Business Frontier

Mental health: what can be done to diminish increasing suicide rates?

Towards a seamless internal EU market for industrial goods

Cash for babies: How Europe is tackling its falling birthrate

5 reasons to be more cheerful about the future of the oceans

How does your immune system work?

5 ways to be a better humanitarian

Time to make a fundamental choice about the future of healthcare

Fairer and clearer rules on social benefits for EU mobile workers agreed

A new kind of company is revolutionising Africa’s gig economy

How LA plans to be 1.6°C cooler by 2050

Global Goals top General Assembly President’s priority list

Why the Greeks forgave Tsipras’ pirouettes around austerity and voted again for SYRIZA

WHO chief underscores need to address climate change following visit to Bahamas

‘Reef cubes’: could these plastic-free blocks help save the ocean?

Africa is helping the drone industry get off the ground. Here’s how

Banks get new capital for free and citizens pay the bill

Circular Plastics Alliance: 100+ signatories commit to use 10 million tons of recycled plastic in new products by 2025

Cyclone Idai: emergency getting ‘bigger by the hour’, warns UN food agency

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ericsson/Cisco partnership on track, insist execs

Youth for Climate Change

Alarming level of reprisals against activists, human rights defenders, and victims – new UN report

The energy industry is changing. Are governments switched on?

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Europe’s children urge leaders to commit to climate action at UN Climate Summit in Paris

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

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