Structure and processes in Health Surveillance in municipalities of Minas Gerais: a quali-quantitative analysis

Abstract Introduction The decentralization of public health measures, operationalized through the creation of the Sistema Único de Saúde (Unified Health System), greatly altered municipal health systems in Brazil. The aim of this study was to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate small and medium-size health monitoring systems (HS) in three municipalities of Minas Gerais and associate this with the health services provided. Methods A data collection instrument of structured and semi-structured interviews was used to assess the structure and processes established in HS municipalities, respectively. Results Epidemiological Monitoring, Sanitation Monitoring and Health Situation Monitoring had the best structure. Environmental Health Monitoring, Occupational Health Monitoring and Health Promotion had poor structures in the three municipalities, and was frequently shared with other sectors. Respondents principally attributed good performance of monitoring procedures to the proactivity of professionals and collaboration with other sectors, rather than to the physical structure itself. Conclusions HS in the municipalities of Minas Gerais is still incipient, but pioneering projects such as the SHSP-MG can greatly change the local reality.