Health Workforce Evidence Informed Policies? Portuguese and Brazilian National Policy-Makers' Perspectives

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:08
Location: Hörsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Isabel CRAVEIRO, Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UNL, Portugal
Virginia HORTALE, ENSP - FioCruz, Brazil
Gilles DUSSAULT, IHMT-UNL, Portugal
In most policy areas, there is significant evidence about research that is not used or not used in a sufficiently timely manner to inform policies. There has been a surge in the production of knowledge on health workforce (HW) issues since 2000, with the creation of Human Resources for Health Observatories, initially in South America, and gradually in other regions of the world. However, integrating the results of research in the policy-making process remains a challenge. For instance, how can research on making the HW more effective/efficient contribute to the objectives of strengthening the health systems and reducing health inequalities? We analyzed what explains how and why research knowledge was or was not used to inform policy decisions/interventions affecting the HW.

We analyzed education and management policies/interventions in two different health care systems with distinct political and institutional environments (Portugal and Brazil), but which have cultural affinities and similar commitments to providing universal access to health services to their population.

We conducted semi-structured interviews with present and past national policy and decision-makers directly or indirectly involved in HW policy and management, as well as “producers” of evidence; the only selection criterion is to be available to participate. The key issues explored include conditions of access to evidence; strategies of communication and dissemination of evidence; influence of political, social and economic context on demand for and utilization of evidence; measures to overcome the gap between research and policy-decision. We will focus on what utilization is made of sociological knowledge on professionalism in the design of policies/management practices in relation to physicians and nurses. The comparative analysis will allow us to understand the influence of the social, political and economic factors in the process of research utilization in decision making process through the perspectives of political actors involved.