Social Medicine Vol 3 No 2: Progressive Health Reforms in Latin America

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We have just published Volume 3, Number 2 of Social Medicine. The full table of contents in available on line. Here is some information about the articles:

Earlier this year we invited Asa Cristina Laurell, a prominent Mexican public health activist to prepare a special issue on progressive health reforms in Latin America. Dr. Laurell was the head of the Mexico City Health Department from 2000-2006 and – had the Mexican elections not been stolen by the right – she would currently be Mexico’s Minister of Health. She contributed a paper describing the Health Department’s experience with providing free medicines and medical care to people who did not qualify for coverage under Mexico’s employment-based Social Security System. Other papers examine Brazil’s Unified Health System, the SUS, which is one of the world’s largest public health systems; the Venezuelan attempts to provide free health to the all citizens with assistance from the Cubans; Uruguay’s moves to a public-private system that will guarantee the right to health; and finally Bogota’s experience with providing poor communities with access to health care through the Health at Home program.

American readers may be particularly interested in the article by Razel Remen and Lillian Holloway, two US students studying medicine at the ELAM school in Havana Cuba.

We publish two articles of original research. A Hong Kong team reports on public attitudes during the SARS epidemic in 2003, while Dr. Paula Acevedo presents data on reproductive patterns among Latin American immigrants in Spain.

Sadly, we publish the last article written by Edmundo Granda, one of the founders of ALAMES, the Latin American Social Medicine Association. He passed away in April of this year. He approved the final galleys of the Spanish version of his paper via blackberry from the hospital on the week he died. His paper considers the historical trajectory of ALAMES and where Latin American Social Medicine may be heading.

Finally, Dr. Lanny Smith interviews Chilean activist Victor Toro, a political refugee from Pinochet’s Chile, who is now facing deportation from the US, his home of nearly 2 decades. Ironically, he has been a immigrant rights activist (and patient of Dr. Smith) in the Bronx, New York, for most of these years. His account of becoming ill in an ICE detention facility mirrors the concerns discussed in our July 10th posting about Dr. Homer Venters.

Posted by Matt Anderson

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