The Unified National Health System and the third sector: Characterization of non-hospital facilities providing basic health care services in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Canabrava, C.Marques.; Andrade, E.Iôla.Gurgel.; Janones, Fúlvio.Alves.; Alves, T.Andrade.; Cherchiglia, M.Leal.
Cadernos de Saude Publica 23(1): 115-126
ISSN/ISBN: 0102-311X PMID: 17187110 Accession: 050561858
In Brazil, nonprofit or charitable organizations are the oldest and most traditional and institutionalized form of relationship between the third sector and the state. Despite the historical importance of charitable hospital care, little research has been done on the participation of the nonprofit sector in basic health care in the country. This article identifies and describes non-hospital nonprofit facilities providing systematically organized basic health care in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, in 2004. The research focused on the facilities registered with the National Council on Social Work, using computer-assisted telephone and semi-structured interviews. Identification and description of these organizations showed that the charitable segment of the third sector conducts organized and systematic basic health care services but is not recognized by the Unified National Health System as a potential partner, even though it receives referrals from basic government services. The study showed spatial and temporal overlapping of government and third-sector services in the same target population.