Ombudsman's attributions: the opinion of users and ombudsmen


  • Stefano Frugoli Peixoto Instituto Paulista de Geriatria e Gerontologia José Ermírio de Moraes
  • Regina Maria Giffoni Marsiglia Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Santa Casa de São Paulo
  • Luiz Carlos Morrone Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Santa Casa de São Paulo; Departamento de Medicina Social



OBJECTIVES: To investigate users and ombudsmen's opinion concerning the services of the ombudsman's office in a geriatric institution of SUS (Brazilian National Health System). METHODS: Quantitative and qualitative research. Data from the ombudsman's office database (2008 to 2010) were analyzed. Semi-structured interviews were carried out. Subjects were 15 users and four ombudsman office workers of a geriatric institution of SUS located in São Paulo, Brazil. Answers were analyzed by content analysis method. QUANTITATIVE RESULTS: In this period there were 1050 information requests, 226 complaints, 10 praises, 7 denunciations, 4 suggestions and 3 other declarations. Several information requests (568) and complaints (168) were related to difficulties in obtaining primary and secondary medical care. QUALITATIVE RESULTS: Most of interviewed users seek the ombudsman's office to complain about employees' negligence or discourtesy. The ombudsmen interviewed considered that most of users seek ombudsman's office because they believed that their problems would be solved. CONCLUSION: This study showed that this ombudsman's office is mostly providing information. However, complaints could be erroneously classified as information. Excess of demand in this institution reflects directly on the role of the ombudsman's office, causing distortion of its activities. Some of the problems could be avoided by actions taken by the geriatric institution itself, such as improving the quality and the organization of the services and reception. Difficulties in obtaining medical care were the most commonly reported problems.


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How to Cite

Peixoto, S. F., Marsiglia, R. M. G., & Morrone, L. C. (2013). Ombudsman’s attributions: the opinion of users and ombudsmen. Saúde E Sociedade, 22(3), 785-794.



Part II - Articles