The guidelines of Decree No. 7508 - June 28, 2011 - have contributed to enhance the capacity of governance of small municipalities in health regions. The objective of this study was to identify the potential and the obstacles in the process of integrated regional planning in health region 29, Rio Grande do Sul. This is a case study carried out through information from semi-structured interviews, field observations, and documentary records, analyzed according to Content Analysis method. The study had participation of health managers of five municipalities and three state public servants linked to the 16th Regional Health Coordination, selected intentionally. Five categories of analysis emerged: the Regional Intermanagers Committee (CIR) as a space of coordination; the strengthening of the Brazilian Unified Health System; the weakness of the management; individualism in observing the process; and what has guided the meetings of the CIR. Results indicate that the integrated regional planning process has advanced, in the sense of CIR being constituted as a space of mutual support between the municipal and state management. However, decisions are made with more political than technical basis, with little monitoring of the access to health actions and health services, hindering the ability of control and negotiation in relation to service providers. It is considered that the CIR needs to be strengthened and consolidated through improvement of the management and through effective participation of state and municipal health managers in order to enable regional governance.
Health Planning; Health Management; Regionalization; Public Health Policies