Work, education and health: trends and prospects



The preparation of this thematic issue emerged as a result of the debate that is being developed within the scope of the ABRASCO Work and Education in Health Workgroup. This group was established in 1993 bringing together a team of researchers and lecturers from various undergraduate and graduate institutions dedicated to the study of policies and models of personnel training and the problems relating to work in the sector. These aspects include prevailing trends in the labor market, policies and management of work within the scope of public and private systems and enhancing the value and promotion of the health of the health worker.

The Workgroup has been dedicated since 2010 to the survey and analysis of the scientific literature on these subjects recorded in Brazilian bibliographic databases over the past twenty years. The result of this work revealed a significant production of articles, dissertations and theses, in addition to research developed within the scope of Observatories of Human Resources deployed in some educational and service institutions in the various regions of the country. The results of this research are presented by Isabela C. M. Pinto et al. in the article entitled Work and education in health in Brazil: trends in the production of knowledge between 1990-2010. Reviewed by specialists and researchers who are participants of the Workgroup, the findings prove the relevance of the topic and the need for publication of studies that provide an updated picture of the situation in the field, as well as future development and prospects.

The compilation of papers that comprise this thematic issue was divided into two blocks, both bringing conceptual reflection and political debate to bear on the area. The first block contains articles that address various aspects about work in the health area, while the second features articles that examine issues relating to education in health.

The articles included in the first block address topics of the utmost relevance such as the productive restructuring process in contemporary capitalism and the reorganization of labor and employment in the area of health. They also examine the process of expansion of the supply of health services striving towards universal access to health and its repercussions on the current characteristics of the workforce in health. This includes the impact of productive restructuring of labor relations in the public health services in Brazil, the deregulation of labor rights and the organization of health workers, as well as the policies for incorporation of the workforce in Brazilian central government (1995-2010). Other articles further assess the managerial dimension of work in health and the relationship between work, training and recognition, examining the problem of how the construction of the subjectivity of workers in health is conducted, using mid-level staff as a benchmark.

The authors responsible for the items included in the second block introduce new themes and prospects for analysis of training of personnel in health, as in the articles that analyze the deployment process of undergraduate courses in Public Health and Interdisciplinary Bachelors courses in Health. This block also includes a reflection on the theoretical principles upon which educational practices in the area of health are based, as well as the issue of teacher training and the current political debate about changes in the prevailing training model within the scope of the training institutions.

Lastly it should be mentioned that the organization of this thematic issue of Ciência e Saúde Coletiva had the support of the Department of Social Sciences of the National School of Public Health and the dedication of the members of the Work and Education in Health Workgroup. This group has been engaged in ensuring the feasibility of the proposals set out in the Master Plan of the 2009-2012 Workgroup, prepared under the coordination of Tania Nunes who was in charge of the Workgroup until 2011.

We trust that the works presented here will elicit reflection and debate about the current challenges in the area of Work and Education in Health, fostering the drafting of proposals and the enhancement of practices developed within the scope of the managing institutions of the health system and in personnel training institutions.


Isabela Cardoso de Matos Pinto, Maria Inês Casalade Martins
Guest Editors

ABRASCO - Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil