Pró-Ensino na Saúde: research on teacher education and teaching and working processes in the Brazilian National Health System (SUS), with emphasis on the reorientation of professional education in the area of Health

Ana Estela Haddad Eliana Goldfarb Cyrino Nildo Alves Batista About the authors

It is with great pleasure that we introduce this issue of Revista Interface - Comunicação, Saúde, Educação, containing articles and reports on experiences developed in different master’s (professional and academic degrees) and doctoral programs. In all the programs, research development and teacher education are promoted in the field of knowledge of the interface between Health and Education, emphasizing the reorientation of professional education in the area of Health. These programs and the experiences registered here result from an induction policy constructed through work shared among the academic community, the Ministry of Health, through the Management Department for Work and Education in Health (SGTES), and the Ministry of Education, through the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES). This policy is called National Program for Teacher Development in the Area of Health (Pró-Ensino na Saúde).

The recognition of health teaching as an area of knowledge by masters’ and doctoral programs is an aspiration and was, for a long time, one of the ideals sought by the academic community historically involved with education in the area of health and with the teaching-service-community integration guideline.

Brazil’s redemocratization process at the end of the 1980s, which, in the sphere of social policies, advanced in the conquest of health as a right through the creation of SUS, had one of its precepts, that of Article 200, item 3 of the Federal Constitution, fulfilled in 2003, with the creation of SGTES in the Ministry of Health. The national policy of health education, which guided the consolidation of SGTES in its first decade, was constituted by different strategies to articulate education and work in the area of health. The paradigmatic axis that aligned and organized this policy is the integration between teaching and the services network of the SUS. The axis was instituted as a pedagogical act that allows professionals of the health services network to have contact with pedagogical practices, and teachers and students to be close to healthcare processes, enabling to innovate and transform both teaching and health services provision. We can state that, from 2003 onwards, “initiatives have been triggered to enhance the qualification of the workforce by means of permanent education actions, which, among other objectives, articulate professional education with the practices of the health services”11. Dias HSA, Lima LD, Teixeira M. A trajetória da política nacional de reorientação da formação profissional em saúde no SUS. Cienc Saude Colet. 2013; 18(6):1613-24. (p. 1614).

Some relevant initiatives are: the reorientation of professional education in the area of health (Pró-Saúde, PET-Saúde), experiences and internships in the reality of SUS (VER-SUS), the constitution of National Forum for the Education of Health Professions (FNEPAS), the education of professionals that trigger processes of change, the recognition, strengthening and expansion of medical and multiprofessional residencies, as well as residencies in professional health areas (Pró-Residências), permanent health education as the structuring axis and, last but not least, Programa Telessaúde Brasil Redes and SUS Open University (UNASUS). The use of multiple strategies targeted at distinct but complementary audiences, attempting to induce their articulation, was the way that was found to meet, at the same time, the need to reorient the education of future professionals and the educational needs of almost one million professionals already working in the SUS. Thus, permanent education was included in the health services as a tool to promote changes in the organizational and managerial level and also in the teams’ working process, heading towards the model of healthcare networks and primary care as the organizing entrance door to healthcare.

In addition to the references mentioned above, Pró-Ensino resulted from the evaluation and monitoring of the implementation of Pró-Saúde and PET-Saúde, especially from the perception of the great challenge faced by teachers of undergraduate health courses, as they were not prepared to deal with the new dimensions included in the reorientation of education. This involves pedagogical action grounded on and inserted in the SUS, represented by teaching-service-community integration, active teaching and learning methodologies, and interprofessional education and teamwork. Furthermore, the health professionals from the services, who acted as preceptors in PET-Saúde, participating in pedagogical actions for undergraduate students, started to desire the continuity of their education and became an important target audience to Pró-Ensino, especially in the modality of professional master’s degrees, and also in academic degrees. Likewise, the research component established in PET-Saúde became denser with Pró-Ensino. Therefore, the different strategies are articulated, complementing and strengthening each other.

Pró-Ensino consists of institutional and financial support to projects of professional master’s degrees in the area of health teaching, projects to educate professionals holding master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral degrees, and development of research in the area of health teaching, submitted by existing postgraduate programs that have received at least four points in the evaluation scale of CAPES. The projects could be inter-institutional or involve more than one program from the same institution; medical and multiprofessional residencies, as well as residencies in professional health areas, associated with professional master’s degrees, providing residents, depending on accreditation, offer of research disciplines, supervision and course completion essay, two titles, one awarded for the residency and the other for the master’s degree.

The following themes were established as an orientation to the thematic scope of the projects: management of health teaching; curriculum and teaching-learning process in health education; health teaching evaluation; teacher education and development in health; integration between universities and health services; health and education integration policies; face-to-face and distance technologies in health teaching.

The excellence of education, together with social relevance, are clearly connected with the possibility of a consortium between academic units and service units to produce and disseminate knowledge in the field of health needs and education, qualifying health professionals by educating teachers and professionals to be creative, critical and committed to the reality of Brazil.

The essential premise of postgraduate studies is to educate qualified professionals, in association with knowledge production. In this specific case, the objects of such production are the varied dimensions of teaching that can be materialized as effective transformations in the daily routine of human resources education in the field of health in Brazil. In the education of teachers and researchers, postgraduate studies are an academic activity with unquestionable legitimacy and recognition in Brazil. It is essential that this sphere of activity is also committed to the consolidation of the SUS. Pró-Ensino aimed to value, in postgraduate programs, the need to educate teachers to teach in undergraduate courses, the work of the university teacher as an educator, the increase in the value given to teaching and to clinical practice committed to comprehensive care in the SUS, the presence of a pedagogy committed to the creative process, the importance of conducting research on health teaching, and the publication of studies, the central object of the Notice to which this text refers.

Therefore, this issue of Revista Interface - Comunicação, Saúde, Educação is very important, as it registers and disseminates some results of Pró-Ensino and of a historical period in which the window of opportunity for intersectoral articulation and integration between the Ministries of Health and Education was committed to quality in higher education for the health professions and to quality in the healthcare provided for the population assisted by the SUS. The publication of the result of studies carried out about Pró-Ensino approaches education in undergraduate health courses committed to the qualification of the SUS. The experience reports enabled a production that promotes dialogs among themes like comprehensive care, the leading role played by teachers, professionals and students in the construction of pedagogical innovations and in a greater teaching-service-community integration, and responsibility for users, among others.

We believe this initiative of the Ministry of Health, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and with the involvement of CAPES, has revealed the great vitality of studies about health teaching. We understand that we need to occupy this place and this must not be an isolated process, a single notice; rather, it must be something under constant construction, with future issues that value professional education as a field of research and development of innovative technologies, guaranteeing the conduction of research, education and innovation in health teaching.


  • 1
    Dias HSA, Lima LD, Teixeira M. A trajetória da política nacional de reorientação da formação profissional em saúde no SUS. Cienc Saude Colet. 2013; 18(6):1613-24.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    26 Sept 2018


  • Accepted
    24 Aug 2018
  • Accepted
    27 Aug 2018
UNESP Botucatu - SP - Brazil