Ombudsman as instrument of participation, control and evaluation of public health policies in Brazil

Michelle Vieira Fernandez Pauline Cavalcanti Domicio Sá Julyana Viegas About the authors

Abstract

The Public Ombudsmen represent a breakthrough in the Brazilian Public Administration, in the democratic management field. In this perspective, this paper aims to analyze the performance of the Ombudsman-General of the Unified Health System. So, how does the Ombudsman-General of the Unified Health System act within the scope of health policies? To answer this question, it was conducted documentary research using management reports from the Department of Ombudsman-General of the Unified Health System of The Brazilian Health Ministry produced between 2010 and 2017. To classify the information, participation, social control and evaluation were used as categories of analysis. It was noted that the participation of citizens-users of Unified Health System via Ombudsman has been increasing and consolidating. The Ombudsman-General of the Unified Health System provides many channels for citizen participation, including telephone and internet which are currently the most accessed forms of participation. Instruments such as the SUS Letter, the Access to Information Law and “whistleblowing” manifestations allow the exercise of social control. User satisfaction is an evaluative aspect that is little promoted, demonstrating discontinuity or devaluation of this kind of action. Thus, in the health field, the ombudsman allow citizen participation, social control and the improvement of policies and services, and it is important to advance further in their development.

Keywords:
Unified Health System Ombudsman; participation; social control; policy evaluation; Unified Health System

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