This is a qualitative, exploratory research that aimed to analyse and compare in time the social representations of health needs expressed by organised civil society and collected in different contexts within the same territory. The sample consisted of 26 representatives of residents' associations or other non-governmental organisations operating in the studied municipality. The taxonomy of health needs was used as an instrument for reading the health needs; the theory of social representations, as a way of capturing them; and the content analysis as an analysis and comparison tool. The temporal analysis allowed us to assess the transformations and/or permanence of needs both in their relationship with institutionalised public policies in the period studied and with the new/old actors present in this configuration. The impacts on the health system and the need to think of new ways to organise the institutional dynamics of the SUS were also highlighted. It is concluded that interdisciplinary and participatory diagnoses, as well as comprehensive health care practices, remain essential considering the persistence of asymmetric relationships between different social groups on the process of proposing and sustaining their representations.
health needs; SUS; public health policies; public health; qualitative research