Women’s health and empowerment: a case study of the More Doctors Program in municipalities with Cuban physicians

Comes et al.


To describe the representations of being a woman by users of the More Doctors Program (Programa Mais Médicos, PMM) in Brazil, exploring the perspectives of gender and race, and the changes produced by PMM in terms of empowerment and health care.


This is a descriptive, cross-sectional study. The field work was performed using semi-structured interviews, with application of an evocative word technique and focal groups in municipalities with Cuban physicians, with nominal selection of municipalities and intentional selection of participants. The size of the sample was defined in the field based on saturation. The data were analyzed by content and prototypical analyses.


Primary health care coverage was strengthened by the PMM, according to the four municipal health secretaries interviewed. Participants (103 in the evocative technique and 120 from focal groups) reported changes in the model of care, which became more humanized, with impact on their perception of health care services, medical consultations, and physicians, on the image they had of themselves and, to a lesser extent, on their health care practices.


PMM produced individual empowerment gains for study participants, with potentially positive impacts on health care behaviors.

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