this study aimed to analyze the perception of users about universal access to health services in the sus, with a view to discussing the principle of universality. qualitative study, developed in a hospital located in rio de janeiro, with 24 users. data were collected through interviews, and were analyzed by the technical of content analysis. 1178 units of records have been identified and grouped in 76 subjects, which resulted in 06 categories: determination of the difficulties to the extent of care in the sus; the attendance in the sus: effective and facilities; medications and examinations in the context of the sus; weaknesses in the process of care in implementation of the principle of universality; universalization of the assistance; and the presence of inamps in the ideas of the user. as shown by the results, users have a positive attitude ahead of the system, despite the many difficulties encountered, and yet, their practices are influenced by the perception that they have about the access.