Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
versão impressa ISSN 1413-8123
MORAES, Ilara Hämmerli Sozzi de; VEIGA, Luciana; VASCONCELLOS, Miguel Murat e SANTOS, Silvia Regina Fontoura Rangel dos. Digital inclusion and health counselors: a policy for the reduction of social inequalities in Brazil. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2009, vol.14, n.3, pp. 879-888. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232009000300023.
Inequalities in health conditions remain even twenty years after the implementation of Unified Health System (SUS). This condition burdens social movements exerting social control on the health care area with a continuous fight. In this struggle, the accumulation of political power is related to an increase in the capacity to acquire knowledge and information. This study aims at fathoming the inequality surrounding the digital inclusion of Health Counselors (HC) of different regions within the country. We have adopted the qualitative survey method, which employs the Focal Groups technique, with HC representing managers, services providers, workers and users, all from national, state and municipal levels. Four aspects were examined, comprising reading and writing habits; Internet utilization; the use of health indicators; and the role of information in the Council-State-Society relation. Results have evidenced the need to broaden the foundations of digital inclusion initiatives in the health care area, and to overcome the cross-sector challenge of linking them to politics and education. By using benchmarks of educational philosophy, we were able to outline a theoretical-analytical matrix as a contribution to understanding the complexity involved in fostering digital inclusion in the health care area.
Palavras-chave : Information in the health care area; Digital inclusion; Health counselors; Information technologies; Education in the health care area.