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Changes in the National Policy of Primary Health Care: between setbacks and challenges

Eduardo Alves Melo Maria Helena Magalhães de Mendonça Jarbas Ribeiro de Oliveira Gabriella Carrilho Lins de Andrade About the authors


The article reflects on the National Policy of Primary Health Care (PNAB) in its various versions. Its objectives are to discuss the contexts of the PNAB review on your 2017 edition, compare with the 2011 version and identify elements of continuity, discontinuity, and possible aggregations. It starts from the ordinances that define the PNAB, followed by systematic reading and election of analysis and behavioral dimensions as for coherence and contradictions, highlighting the discussion forums and the main actors involved in the review. It highlighted as results the preservation of the conceptual approach of Primary Care (AB). Changes that are significant in the organizational and functional dimension indicate easing in the organization mode - Family Health Strategy (ESF) and AB. Additionally, changes in the composition of the team, as for the number of Community Health Workers (ACS) and its unique assignments. In management, the novelty is the management of the Health Center. In financing, it preserved the responsibilities of the three federated entities, with a low perspective of expansion of financial resources. Attention was drawn to the role of formal managers and to disregarding the positions of social control in decision-making. It is considered that there are PNAB devices that induce, prevent or condition changes, and concludes that the central purposes of this agenda are to reduce the ACS and to change its profile as well as the prioritization of the so-called traditional AB to the detriment of the ESF. Furthermore, such a change, in conjuncture of political and economic crisis of the country, with the Ministry of Health assuming a neoliberal agenda, makes it inopportune and offers conditions of dismantling the ESF, besides deepening the division among the actors of health policy.

Primary Health Care; Family Health Strategy; Health policy; Unified Health System

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