BIREME Bulletin n° 13

PAHO/WHO and its joint action with the Secretary of Health of the Municipality of São Paulo

During the visit of the Deputy Director of the Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), Isabella Danel, at the time of the 50th anniversary of the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME/PAHO/WHO), the Secretary of Health of the Municipality of São Paulo (SMS-SP) organized an activity at Hospital Municipal Infantil Menino Jesus.

During the visit, Dr. Joaquin Molina, PAHO/WHO Representative in Brazil, highlighted the joint work carried out by PAHO/WHO and the government of Sao Paulo. “We have several lines of cooperation that provide very positive experiences, which we can share with other Brazilian cities and American countries”, he said. One of these initiatives is Programa Mais Médicos. Currently, the city of Sao Paulo has 262 professionals of the program, including 78 Cuban physicians within the scope of the cooperation with PAHO/WHO.

mais-medicos1According to Isabella Danel, the Programa Mais Médicos has contributed to attaining the goals of Universal Health Coverage in Brazil. “This program, centered on primary care, is very successful. The strengthening of this sector is paramount for universal health coverage. If there is more access to primary care, there will be, for example, fewer admissions to hospitals and more efficiency in the spending of resources. We are very happy to work with Brazil and the city of Sao Paulo”.

The Municipal Health Secretary, Dr. Wilson Pollara, made a presentation about Healthcare Networks, emphasizing their main accomplishments, challenges and spaces of cooperation. Next, the Programa Mais Médicos in the City of São Paulo was presented by the team of the Deputy Secretary, Dr. Maria da Glória Zenha.

During the activity, a Cuban doctor participating in the program testified about his work at a municipal hospital in the city of Sao Paulo, highlighting that his experience has been very enriching both personally and professionally.

Launch of the Mais Médicos app

In the same event, PAHO/WHO presented the Integrated Information System Mais Médicos (SIMM), an application that has been developed to integrate the data of the main sources of information about this program. The tool intends to collect and systematize data on the Programa Mais Médicos, to support the management and the administrative and financial control of the project, to monitor and assess the performance of the initiative and to increase transparency, among other benefits.

According to the coordinator of the Programa Mais Médicos in PAHO/WHO, Carlos Rosales, the Organization had to develop many information systems to deal with the process of receiving and training professionals, and other essential measures for operating the initiative. “They were complementary, but often did not communicate between themselves. For this reason, we started this process to generate an up-to-date integrated information system for the management of the Programa Mais Médicos“.


The app is available for health managers, physicians of the program, and general public, was developed in partnership with the Virtual Campus for Public Health (CVSP) and will be available in three languages: Portuguese, Spanish and English.

BIREME’s actions with the city of São Paulo

Dr. Diego González presented the activities BIREME has conducted within the context of the term of cooperation with the city of Sao Paulo, which started in 2010 and is going on until today. He highlighted the application of the Virtual Health Library model at the municipal level, focusing on primary care teams.

Besides, the director of BIREME presented data on the scientific and technical production of SMS-SP in the regional database, which exceeds 12,000 records and provides greater visibility to the scientific and technical production of the city. He also highlighted the contribution BIREME has given to implementation of the telehealth program at the municipal level, mentioning some actions, such as training of teleconsultants, operational flow of teleconsulting, development of the platform, and mapping of guides of clinical practice and care protocols.

Furthermore, Dr. González emphasized “Although the VHL of the Secretary of Health of the Municipality of São Paulo follows the model we developed, it also relies on some unique elements, like the production of a series of accounts of experiences and educational videos both for healthcare teams and the community. This is an experience that can be replicated by other cities.”

Text by Luis Felipe da Cunha Sardenberg Bastos, Communication Consultant of PAHO Brazil.

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