Permanent education as an inalienable responsibility of health councils: the current scenario in the Unified Health System
Keywords:Health Planning Councils, Permanent Education, Continuing Education, Unified Health System, Social Control
OBJECTIVE: To verify whether health councils in Brazil carry out permanent education activities for municipal, state and federal district councilors. METHOD: This was a cross-sectional study with secondary data collection in the Health Council Monitoring System (Sistema de Acompanhamento dos Conselhos de Sau´ de – Siacs) from May to August 2017. The Siacs is publicly accessible and available on the internet. It provides data from thousands of health councils throughout Brazil. Analysis and interpretation of the data were based on the literature and the enacted legislation, particularly Resolution 453/2012 and the National Policy of Permanent Education for Social Control in the Unified Health System (Polı´tica Nacional de Educac¸a˜o Permanente para o Controle Social no Sistema U´ nico de Sau´ de). RESULTS: Despite the fact that Resolution 453/2012 establishes the deliberation, elaboration, support and promotion of permanent education for social control as functions of the councils (in accordance with the guidelines of the National Policy of Permanent Education), approximately 40% of councils do not carry out permanent education. CONCLUSIONS: It is necessary to strengthen the role of health councils in the elaboration of educational initiatives across the national territory. This includes the allocation of financial resources to increase access to and participation in these initiatives, which would strengthen social control in the Unified Health System. This study emphasizes that the discussion of permanent education is not given sufficient attention in the agendas and routines of health councils. This compromises the effectiveness of councils’ monitoring and deliberation of public health policy.