Service users' perceptions of the Mais Médicos (More Doctors) Program in the Municipality of Mossoró, Brazil

Tiago Rodrigues Bento da Silva Jennifer do Vale e Silva Andrezza Graziella Veríssimo Pontes Andrea Taborda Ribas da Cunha About the authors

Abstract

The Mais Médicos (More Doctors) Program (MMP), which was launched in 2013, sought to provide doctors to work in primary health care in priority areas within the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS). This article analyzes the perception of MMP service users through the results of a qualitative study that consisted of interviews with service users of the Family Health Strategy (ESF) in which doctors from the MMP worked. The service users who were interviewed had a positive view of the MMP because it had expanded access to health care, although there still remained organizational and technical problems that limited the use of services. The performance of foreign doctors was well viewed, with an emphasis on a humanized relationship between doctor and service user, which was characterized by listening, attention and dialogue. In terms of communication with these professionals, some service users referred to language as being a barrier, which was ameliorated by the use of communication strategies within the ESF. The MMP offered a quick and satisfactory resolution to the historical problem of difficulty of access to doctors in Brazil. However, the effectiveness of the Brazilian health system requires that weaknesses are overcome, such as access to specialized services, organizational problems and the implementation of service production models that are centered on illness.

Key words
Primary health care; Health policy; Medical care; Human resources; Personnel management

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