The Brasilian health reform: A victory over the neoliberal model

Amelia Cohn


This paper sketches the panorama of changes resulting from the Health System Reforms initiated in Brazil since the mid-seventies, exploring the political and structural limitations of the process, the social and political strategies used, and current proposals for reorganizing Brazil’s “Unified Health System” (known as the SUS). The SUS is one of the world’s largest public health systems. The central theme of this analysis and presentation is that the Brazilian Health System Reform is a Latin American example of an alternative health project, democratic and universal, based on the premises of Social Security, that its implementation was feasible, and, once implemented, resistant to obstruction by conservative neoliberal forces.

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