Alternatives for the enforcement of the right to health in Brazil

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In this article, the right to health is discussed as a social right and an essential requisite in the construction and guarantee of human rights, more precisely human dignity, considering this right as a complex but effective process in the transformation of the social reality. In the first place, the activities of the public power and its difficulties to guarantee universal access to health are highlighted. This scenario ends up inhibiting the practice of the right to health and prevents users from enjoying and using it. In that sense, this article challenges and explores some alternatives to solidify and put in practice the right to health in Brazil. Departing from the analysis of the Unified Health System (SUS) and social participation in Brazil, this article discusses the judicialization of health in the country, highlighting the difficulties the State faces to equitably offer universal healthcare to society. This context offers an opportunity for reflection and a paradigm change, from the “judicialization of health” to the “judicialization of health policies.” Finally, the public health policies adopted by other countries are emphasized, in the attempt to construct the empowerment of human beings in the practice of their rights, particularly social participation and the discussion about the States' responsibility to put their citizens' right to health in practice. In conclusion, the political and collective construction of the right to health needs to be encouraged, distinguishing the legitimate interests of the different interlocutors involved.

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