The article aims to understand how users of the health system of a Brazilian metropolis evaluate the acces s to primary care services. This is a participatory evaluation of the fourth generation type, guided by the Gadamerian hermeneutic methodology. We conducted four focus groups with users; narratives were constructed from the transcriptions using the theoretical framework of Ricoeur. The primary care is recognized as the gateway of the health system; but access is hampered by: problems of organization; using the reception as a barrier to the access; lack of human resources; difficulties in following the treatment. The model centered on the disease and the lack of critical analysis may induce disbelief in the outcomes of primary care.
Primary Health Care; Public health; Health services accessibility; Program evaluation; Social participation