Health and social justice

19 de April, 2023

The judicialization of health in the Federal District of Brazil (A judicialização da saúde no Distrito Federal, Brasil) 2014

This article aims to discuss the Judiciary’s approach regarding the demands for the judicialization of the right to health by means of a case study of civil lawsuits for access to health care in Brazil’s Federal District. Judicialization of the right to health means the judicialization of various health services. This is an exploratory and descriptive case study that covers the Federal District and uses mixed techniques to gather and analyze data. This study analyzed 385 lawsuits (87% of the total number of cases of judicialization of health from 2005 to 2010 that reached the Appellate Court). The results indicate that the most judicialized service is the access to intensive care units, followed by drugs and health care. Almost all lawsuits are filed by public defenders, with medical prescriptions and recommendations from the public health service. In about 8% of the cases, there is proof of income, usually around 500 Brazilian reais. The results of this study challenge some dominant theses in the national debate, particularly the claim that judicialization is a phenomenon of the elite and that the judicialized services are drugs. The study does not intend to make generalizations with the data, but indicates that the phenomenon of judicialization of health encompasses different aspects under the same concep

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