SUS: mandatory national symbol
.By Alexandre Padilha.
The pandemic awakened in the Brazilian population a greater perception of the role and presence of the Unified Health System (SUS) in our daily lives. Even so, many times when talking about the importance of the production of vaccines by the Butantan Institute or by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) the SUS is not mentioned.
When we talk about the importance of blood donation, the quality of our blood banks with care to avoid the transmission of diseases, etc., we don’t talk about the SUS.
It is common for newspaper and magazine articles to bring beautiful stories of lives saved by surgeries, treatments, transplants or by the SAMU service and the SUS brand does not appear.
Unfortunately, it is also very common for the SUS brand to appear only on sad and negative agendas.
For this reason, to defend it, to demonstrate to society where the SUS is and to mobilize everyone so that together we can make it better and stronger, we approved the Bill of Law (PL) in the Committee on Merit of the Chamber of Deputies 3,644/20, of my authorship, which transforms the SUS flag into a national symbol, making its use mandatory in all health units, as well as communication materials and advertisements.
Along with the Federal Constitution, the SUS turns 32 in 2021 and is considered the most important and bold public policy of the country’s redemocratization. It means offering universal and free healthcare to all Brazilians.
With the SUS, health became a right of people and a duty of the State. Before him, the provision of care in health services was restricted to people who contributed to social security, only those who had the right to health were those who had a formal contract.
I have always defended that the SUS flag should be included as a national symbol, even more so at the moment we live in and with the dismantling already announced. When I was the Minister of Health, we standardized the SUS logo in the visual communication of the Ministry’s actions with the objective of making the SUS a national asset and a flag to be defended.
In the first vaccination campaign I participated in as Minister, I called the communication team and consulted the creator of Zé Gotinha to find out if we could make a “tattoo” of the SUS brand on the main character of our excellent vaccination campaigns. He agreed and was thrilled.
In addition to transforming the SUS flag into a national symbol, the purpose of this PL is to place the SUS in the place it deserves and further enhance our national identity. This does not mean that we think the SUS is perfect. But in the same way that we are proud to use the Brazilian flag, knowing that a lot needs to be changed in our country, we need to extol the SUS as a national heritage. SUS also represents the Brazilian people and we need to defend it.
Alexandre Padilha is a doctor, university professor and federal deputy (PT-SP). He was Lula’s Minister of Political Coordination, Dilma’s Minister of Health and Health Secretary during the Fernando Haddad administration in the city of SP.