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National Survey of Health

For the first time, IBGE carries out survey on patient check-in in public health system

Section: Social Statistics | Eduardo Peret

September 26, 2019 04h00 PM | Last Updated: September 27, 2019 11h25 AM

Survey will help assess the quality of primary health care services - Photo: Diego Galba/Olinda City Hall

The IBGE has introduced a new feature in the National Survey of Health (PNS), in the field since August 26. For the first time, a household survey will include, at national level, a section of questions focused on the quality assessment of primary health care services. The collection instrument will also allow for international comparison.

Primary care is patients' "front door" to the public health system and has been the object of attention of public managers for years. Its essential attributes are:

- first contact access;

- longitudinality/continuity of care, in order to help foster confidence between population and health services;

- comprehensiveness, covering initiatives of health promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation;

- integration with the other health services' phases.

In 2001, the United States developed an assessment system targeted at primary health care known as the PCATool (Primary Care Assessment Tool). In 2006, the Brazilian version of the PCATool was validated by an international team, in which the current secretary of Primary Health Care of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Erno Harzheim, took part.

For him, the introduction by the IBGE of the specific section of questions will encourage states and municipalities to do the same at their local sphere. “This model facilitates both questionnaire administration and interpretation of result scores, which range from 0 to 10 in the assessment of the primary care service”, says the secretary.

In the opinion of the Medical School Professor of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Dr. Luiz Felipe Pinto, “the inclusion of the new instrument in the PNS is quite interesting, because it places the IBGE in the international comparison context. The survey has been already being carried out in health care units, but there has never been a large-scale household collection before.”

Besides the United States, other countries also use the PCATool validated modules, as some countries in Europe and Asia. “The adoption of the instrument by the IBGE places Brazil as a leader and a reference, mainly for Latin American countries, which are still timidly testing their national primary care assessment tools,” added Dr. Harzheim.

According to IBGE's Associate Director of Survey, Cimar Azeredo, "the institute is negotiating with the Ministry of Health to carry out the collection as a routine from now on."

By the end of the year, the PNS will have visited nearly 108,000 households in 2,167 municipalities across the country.


Keywords: Saúde, Atenção primária, Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde.



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