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3rd Varzea Paulista's Municipal Conference of Health: the participation of society in prioritizing proposals and political commitment

The 3rd Health Conference of Varzea Paulista was organized with the objective of involving local society in the analysis of municipal health conditions, so that priorities in health needs could be established and published in a white paper that would be used to gain political commitment of candidates at the forthcoming town hall election. Local meetings and regional pre-conferences were conducted as preparatory activities for the Municipal Conference. In them, representatives and propositions were chosen, in accordance with the theme "Ensuring Health Right", which was developed along the five themes proposed by the Health Pact. The process of defining the priorities was an innovation, through limiting the number of regional proposals sent to Municipal Conference. The white paper was forwarded to candidates for mayor, so that they could commit with the planning established for municipal health authority's actions. The structure of Conference organization, with local and regional stages, made possible the participation of citizens, followed by election of representatives and approval of proposals. Collective prioritizing ensured a social pact that is workable. The debate about governance led to motions for intersectoral activities among municipal departments. One of conference's major contributions was to offer spaces for debate of different opinions, which promoted learning. Politic commitment of candidates for mayor showed a movement in the direction of turning public health a state policy, and not only government action.

Health Management; Public Health; Health Conference; Social Control


Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. Av. dr. Arnaldo, 715, Prédio da Biblioteca, 2º andar sala 2, 01246-904 São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7880 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: saudesoc@usp.br