This study analyzes the production of scientific knowledge on Health Inequalities (HI) and its use in policies of education of dentists, nurses and physicians in Brazil and Portugal. Documents published between January 2000 and December 2001, in Portuguese, French, English and Spanish, were identified by means of a combination of a manual and intentional electronic database survey of the grey literature. Fifty-three documents were selected from a total of 1,652.
The findings revealed that there is still little knowledge available to enable an assessment of policies for human resource training in healthcare in general and for those related to physicians, nurses and dentists in particular. In Brazil, few studies have thus far been made to understand how such training can contribute towards reducing these inequalities and, in the case of Portugal, no studies were found that established a direct relationship between human resource training and the future role that these could play in combating inequality.
Despite a vast increase in scientific production, many lacunae still exist in this field. Knowledge production and its relationship with decision making still seem to be separate processes in these two countries.