Preprint has been submitted for publication in journal
Preprint / Version 1

Covid-19 and federative coordination in Brazil: consequences of federal dissonance for the pandemic response


  • Fabiola Sulpino Vieira Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (Ipea) – Brasília (DF), Brasil.
  • Luciana Mendes Santos Servo Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (Ipea) – Brasília (DF), Brasil.



Federalism, Health Services Accessibility, Public Health Surveillance, Pandemics, Coronavirus


This essay aims to discuss the trajectory of federative coordination in the Unified Health System (SUS) and the response coordination efforts to covid-19 pandemic. To support the discussion, it addresses theoretical framework on the relationship between federalism and the public policies, and on the development of federative coordination in the SUS. It also discusses recent decisions by the Ministry of Health that resulted in the weakening of the SUS's coordination instruments. It considers that the deficient federal coordination in the response to the pandemic is not due to the absence of federative coordination mechanisms in SUS or to the constraint of these mechanisms imposed by the other entities of the federation. What is observed is the deliberate weakening of the federal coordination mechanisms by the federal government. It concludes that the health crisis accelerated the ministry of health distancing process of its role as national director of SUS and made explicit the decision of the federal government for inaction, relegating to the Ministry a secondary role in the efforts against the pandemic, with serious consequences for the population access to health care, especially intensive care, and for the effectiveness of actions in the field of health surveillance.




Health Sciences