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Saúde e Sociedade
versão impressa ISSN 0104-1290
MATOS, Ana Raquel. Citizen Participation relevance in health policies: the case of the maternal and child health services restructuring in Portugal. Saude soc. [online]. 2011, vol.20, n.3, pp. 604-616. ISSN 0104-1290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-12902011000300007.
In the so-called democratic societies citizens' participation has become a central issue to the analysis of decision making processes. However, in this scope the major difficulty is related to a broad definition of what can be considered as participatory modalities. In this paper protest actions are assumed as legitimate forms of participation in public decision making processes. Accordingly, this work describes and analyses the maternity wards closure in Portugal, one of the measures of the recent restructuring of the maternal and child health services that was implemented between May 2006 and December 2007, and the consequent protest actions developed by the local populations affected by the measure. It is also evaluated how a non-informed and communicated measure based on criteria such as security and quality of the provided health care can trigger protest movements, particularly as a strategy of citizens to participate in a public policy (re)formulation.
Palavras-chave : Citizen Participation; Maternal and Child Health Policies; Protest Actions; Maternity Wards Closure.