PAHO/WHO highlights the importance of social participation for SUS at the opening of the 16th National Health Conference

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August 4, 2019 – The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) participated this Sunday (4th) in the opening ceremony of the 16th National Health Conference (8th+8th), in Brasília (DF) , one of the most important moments of social participation in Brazil. The event is organized by the National Health Council (CNS) and carried out by the Ministry of Health.

In the opening act, the PAHO/WHO representative in Brazil, Socorro Gross, highlighted that the theme of this edition, “Democracy and Health”, is symbolic because it honors the great democratic achievement that the SUS represents. “In addition to being one of the largest, most complex and most envied public health systems in the world, SUS is rooted in values ​​and principles intrinsically linked to what democracy represents: the protection of fundamental human rights,” she said.

In his speech to more than 5,000 participants, Gross said that the SUS is not just an achievement for Brazil, but for all of the Americas. “SUS is the realization of the right of the Brazilian population to have a better, fairer, more dignified, happier life. It is the result of an important democratic process, which recognizes that everyone can fulfill their right to the highest standard possible health”. The PAHO/WHO representative in Brazil said that she had the opportunity to work in several countries in the Americas and get to know different health systems, and recognizes that the SUS is special. “The social participation that sustains its foundations is an inspiration and an example for many nations”, she highlighted, reiterating that this is the foundation for universal health.

About the 16th Conference
The 16th National Health Conference (8th+8) is a rescue of the 8th Conference, held in 1986, responsible for defining the bases for the construction of the SUS in the 1988 Constitution. The final report of the event will generate subsidies for the elaboration of the Pluriannual Plan 2020-2023 and the National Health Plan.

As proposed by deputy Francisco do PT, the importance of the 16th National Health Conference was the subject of a public hearing in the Legislative Assembly. The event was held on the afternoon of this Monday (03) and was attended by the various sectors linked to public health, as well as defenders of the Unified Health System (SUS).

The 16th National Health Conference will take place between August 4th and 7th, 2019, in Brasília, with the purpose of forwarding proposals to define the directions of Public Health in Brazil. According to the deputy who proposed the hearing, the event will draw society’s attention to the importance of the conference as an instrument to defend the SUS.

“The 16th National Health Conference can be a milestone in the fight against the dismantling of social achievements. It is necessary to draw the attention of society to defend the rights guaranteed by the constitution. We know that the SUS is the system that serves the most needy population, so we need to unite to prevent the dismantling that is happening at the national level”. Francisco of the PT declared.

The president of the State Health Council, Geolípia Jacinto, criticized the public health situation regarding the service structure in the units. “Health is everyone’s right and the State’s duty, but this is not happening. We have crowded hospitals, patients in the corridors, lack of professionals. We need to expand the relationship between the defense of health and fundamental rights in order to guarantee, not only health, but all the social rights provided for in the constitution. ” defended Geolipia.

The secretary general of the 16th conference, Geordeci Meneses, said he hopes that the conference will be a watershed in the fight in favor of the SUS. “This moment makes this event even more important. It will be the first major event since the beginning of this government, so it has to be a success to face the dismantling that is taking place. ” He said.

For the Secretary of Public Health of the State, Cipriano Maia, the way to defend what he calls the dismantling of social policies sponsored by the Federal Government is union. “We are in a challenging moment in the face of the freezing of resources destined to social areas. The way to reverse this deconstruction is social mobilization with active citizenship in the various sectors of society. ” argued the secretary.

In addition to the importance of the 16th National Health Conference, the public hearing also launched the State Health Conference of RN, which will be held on June 11, 12 and 13, with the State Health Council as its general coordination and chaired by the Secretary of State for Public Health of Rio Grande do Norte.