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Washington, DC, November 2017 (PAHO/WHO)- The Pan American Health Organization with the collaboration of researchers from Brazil, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Imperial College in London and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)-will develop a seminal study on the Brazilian Unified System (SUS) accomplishments and challenges for the past 30 years. Experts, researchers, and decision-makers will participate in the project.

The objective of this project is to bring together the main elements of a comprehensive analysis of the SUS and simulate future scenarios that can inform policy and decision-making in the country. A comprehensive literature review will be conducted on recent articles published on the Brazilian health system and the pressing issues that are affecting its performance, focusing on the current landscape.

The project will be published and launched in Brazil during the second semester of 2018 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Brazilian constitution, marking the right to health legislation and conception of the SUS.


2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 40th anniversary of Alma-Ata and the 30th anniversary of Brazil's seventh Constitution. The 1988 Brazilian Constitution represented an instrument of change, which among other things, established the right to health to its citizens and the government responsibility to deliver health care, incorporating important elements of the Declarations of Human Rights and Alma-Ata into a social contract with the Brazilian population. The constitution was the birthplace of the Brazilian SUS, which is now the only source of health coverage for more than 75% of the population.

The current context offers an important opportunity to analyze the challenges and the successes of the SUS during the past 30 years and possible scenarios for the next three decades.