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The strategic role of health care within the Brazilian development agenda has been increasingly recognized and institutionalized. Aside from its importance as a structural element of the Welfare State, health care plays a leading role in generating innovation. Despite this, the productive base of Brazil’s health care system is extremely fragile, jeopardizing both the universal provision of health care services and the country’s competitive insertion in the globalized environment. This suggests the need for a more systematic analysis of the complex relationships that exist between the technological and the social interests involved in the productive base of health care provision in Brazil. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to enhance our understanding of the productive base of health care, especially given its potential to contribute to a socially inclusive development model, which is the ultimate goal in Brazil.