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Publications

Making the Right to Health a Reality for Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples: Innovation, Decentralization and Equity

Future Health Systems

Coelho, V. and A. Shankland (2011) Making the Right to Health a Reality for Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples: Innovation, Decentralization and Equity. MEDICC Review, 13(3).

Abstract

This article provides an overview of governance arrangements and changes in the Brazilian public health system since 1988, when the “Citizen’s Constitution” declared health to be a universal right. Since then, population coverage has grown substantially and health indicators have improved. Despite these achievements, inequities in access remain an important barrier to universal coverage, in particular for marginalized groups such as indigenous peoples. This article discusses the innovation cycle that produced the gains and recent efforts to guarantee more equitable access to health services for the indigenous population in a continent-sized country historically plagued by great inequalities.