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More than one in four Brazilians have private health insurance (PHI), even thought it covers mostly the same procedures as the Brazilian Unified National Health System (SUS). This literature review included articles and monographs published since 1990 about the utilization of SUS by privately insured individuals. Considering outpatient care and hospitalization, privately insured people in Brazil use SUS in approximately 13% of the times they receive health care, and approximately 7% of people receiving care paid by SUS are privately insured; these findings vary depending on the type of service studied and on study methods. Utilization of SUS is more frequent in less developed regions, by people with more restricted PHI plans and by people with worse health status. Privately insured people report the limitations of PHI plans as their reasons for resorting to SUS. Sometimes, beneficiaries of PHI plans owned by nonprofit hospitals (which also provide health care financed by SUS) have easier access to care than uninsured people financed by SUS. Anecdotally, privately insured people are satisfied with SUS, but not to the point of adopting SUS as their preferred source of care. In short, for privately insured people, SUS only plays a secondary role in their health care. Despite PHI taking over part of the SUS's health care demand, PHI represents a restriction of the universal, equitable character of the SUS.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Cadernos de saude publica
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Individuals enrolled in a school of PUBLIC HEALTH or a formal educational program in public health.
Educational institutions for individuals specializing in the field of public health.
The ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of health-related data with the purpose of preventing or controlling disease or injury, or of identifying unusual events of public health importance, followed by the dissemination and use of information for public health action. (From Am J Prev Med 2011;41(6):636)
Privately endowed or public charities or institutions receiving and supporting the aged or infirm poor. They sometimes functioned as centers of health care before the establishment of formal hospitals. (From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed & Dr. James H. Cassedy, NLM History of Medicine Division)
A field of study that examines the organization, financing, and delivery of public health services within communities, and the impact of these services on public health.
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