Article Text

Download PDFPDF

1720c Opportunities to insert occupational health components into national health policies and programs: views and experiences
  1. R Mendes
  1. National Association of Occupational Medicine (ANAMT), São Paulo – SP, Brazil


Several countries, like Brazil, where Workers’ Health is a clear responsibility and mandate of the Ministry of Health, are supposed to develop health policies that include basic components of the ‘Occupational Health thinking’ and approaches. These components should be included into all levels of health services, depending on the mission, responsibility and complexity of each level, as well as on the geographical coverage and mandate. Such countries, fortunately, have structured their national system taking the Primary Health Care approach as the main ‘organiser’ of the whole health system. Primary Heath Care has received some variations, and the Brazilian case is based on the Family Heath Care approach, that may be an appropriate advancement. So, entering through the ‘door’ of the Health System – i.e. the Family Health Care approach or program – it is possible to reach and access the full System, from the primary level to more elevated and complex levels. The main components of the ‘Occupational Health thinking’ and approaches that may be (and have been) successfully introduced into the national health policies and programs, in the case of some local and regional ongoing experiences in Brazil, include the following:

  1. development or strengthening of a clear understanding that almost all young or adult ‘citizens’ and/or ‘patients’ are also ‘workers’;

  2. introduction of the classic Ramazzinian question (‘what is your occupation?’), improved by Sir Percival Pott, by adding a temporal dimension (occupational anamnesis), as a routine, into the Family/Primary health practice;

  3. mapping, visiting productive premises or other economic activities located within the territorial jurisdiction of the Primary/Family health responsibility;

  4. analysis of all economic/productive informal activities carried out within houses, involving children, minors and women, among other activities. There are successful outcomes that may be shared.

  • Workers’ Health
  • Primary Health Care
  • Family Health

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.