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Paths of healthcare institutions in Brazil: a study on the political history of the Unified Health System

Grant number: 19/09162-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2019
Effective date (End): May 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - Public Policies
Principal researcher:Marta Teresa da Silva Arretche
Grantee:Ernesto Mifano Honigsberg
Home Institution: Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07616-7 - CEM - Center for Metropolitan Studies, AP.CEPID


This project of undergraduate research is linked to the Center for Metropolitan Studies (CEPID-FAPESP). The research intends to contribute to the contemporary debate on public health policies and healthcare institutions. The topic of the research will be the idealization, conception, institutional design, political debate and implementation of the Unified Health System (SUS) in Brazil. Special attention will be dedicated to the values and principles hold by political actors and to the presence (or not) of these values in the policies implemented and in the functioning of the public health institutions and policies. In the first stage of the research, an analysis and mapping of the secondary literature will be carried out (that is, the work already done on the political history of both the conception and the implementation of the Unified Health System). In a second stage, we will study primary historical sources that will be selected after the first stage of the research. Have policy decisions related to moral values and principles influenced decision-making on public health institutions in Brazil? Moreover, how did these decisions, in its turn, delimit the following allocation of scarce health resources and, consequently, affected the health inequalities in the country? How concerns about scarce resources were considered by political actors throughout the history of the Unified Health System? These are questions that will guide the research being undertaken.

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