10, August, 2012

Spotlight on Publications: Methodologies of Latin American Report Cards on Health

In the last decades, citizen initiatives formed by academia, the private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in various Latin American countries have emerged seeking greater participation in social oversight of their cities’ public policies. This Spotlight on Publications focuses on the use of report cards to assess quality and access in health care services, presenting four different approaches that have been implemented in Latin America.

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Argentina: Cordoba City’s Basic Health Indicators 2010

This report presents the methodology used by Our Cordoba Citizen Network to assess the impact of health policies on the city’s population. In contrast with other initiatives, Citizen Network Our Cordoba has elaborated - through the health team’s working group - a number of health indicators based on definitions from the Health Ministry, Pan-American Health Organization and World Health Organization, to evaluate health policy and its outcomes on quality of life. The 1991-2008 report depicts health indicators such as birth rate, mortality rate, child mortality rate and maternal mortality rate. Their research compares the city’s data with the province and national-level records of the same period. This permanent monitoring exercise allows for a different kind of assessment: one on the impact of health policy on Cordoba’s population. According to the methodology used by the initiative, first indicators were selected to help shed light on Cordoba’s health and disease status and available health and sanitation resources. This initiative also carries out a monitoring exercise to identify to what extent Cordoba’s three Government levels are complying with their obligations, with special emphasis on the municipal level. By doing so, the initiative seeks to create spaces for public deliberation that include citizen collaboration to advocate for enhancing health care services.
Full Citation: Red Ciudadana Nuestra Córdoba. 2010. Cordoba City’s Basic Health Indicators 2010 (Indicadores Sanitarios Básicos 2010), Red Ciudadana Nuestra Córdoba, Córdoba.

Brazil: Sao Paulo City’s Perception Indicators 2009

This publication from the Our Sao Paulo Initiative presents the results of the perception indicators about quality of life in the city. In terms of health, the initiative used the citizen report card to identify the degree of health care accessibility, quality of services people access and citizen satisfaction with health service delivery. The two surveys implemented in 2008 measured accessibility as the type of services available close to users’ homes, and the services people use, such as primary or specialised care, hospitalisation or drug supply. The quality of services was measured according to quality of drug supply, ambulatory services, surgical interventions, health care services, dental services, specialist care, family care, treatment of illness, outpatient care, emergency care, and waiting time between planning and carrying out consultations, operations or examinations. To capture people’s satisfaction, the surveys assessed the availability of medical consultation schedules and if the services were appropriate to provide the required medical care.
Full Citation: Nossa Sao Paulo. 2009. Sao Paulo City’s Perception Indicators 2009 (Indicadores de Percepção da Cidade de São Paulo 2009). Nossa Sao Paulo-Ibope Inteligência. Sao Paulo.

Peru: Lima How Are We Doing Survey 2011: Report on Perception of Quality of Life

This report from the Lima How Are We Doing? Initiative presents the 2011 survey results of citizen perception about quality of life in the Peruvian capital. With regards to health, the citizen report card methodology they used assessed people’s perceptions about service delivery in terms of access, efficiency and quality. In general terms, the 2011 survey aimed to identify: the major problem faced by the city of Lima in terms of health services; the types of services used by citizens when needed, either public or private; and people’s satisfaction level with the health care they obtained. The results of the citizen report card showed that the major problem faced in the city is deficient health care quality, particularly in the centre and the south of the city. Also, the majority of people that needed health care used public services and hospitals. Finally, in terms of satisfaction, 52% of respondents felt completely satisfied with the care they obtained, while 34% felt unsatisfied.
Full Citation: Observatorio Cuidadano Lima Cómo Vamos. 2012. Lima How Are We Doing Survey 2011: Report on Perception of Quality of Life (Encuesta Lima Cómo Vamos 2011: Informe de Percepción sobre Calidad de Vida). Observatorio Cuidadano Lima Cómo Vamos, Lima.

Uruguay: Montevideo’s Citizen Perception Survey Report 2010

This report presents the results of the citizen perception survey implemented in 2010 by the Montevideo How Are We Doing? Initiative. It is worth noting that in relation to health, the initiative elaborated its citizen report card based on the Our Sao Paulo initiative’s survey, though they added questions particular to Uruguayan health policy. The report card took four key aspects into consideration. First, it assessed to what extent health services were available in the city’s different districts, in order to capture unequal distribution of services. The second sought to understand citizens’ assessment of vaccine campaigns, proximity of care centres including clinics and hospitals, public policies regarding abortion, and sanitary and environmental auditing. Third, for service quality, the survey measured two indicators: whether patient treatment was humane and respectful, and the waiting time to get a consultation. Finally, the fourth aspect was citizens’ perceptions if their own health status, using indicators such as personal behaviour relative to sleep quality, health and diet. Overall, the report card implemented by the Montevideo How Are We Doing? Initiative incorporates various elements to assess the quality of health, including some innovative aspects such as people’s perception about specific health policies and healthy personal behaviours.
Full Citation: Montevideo Cómo Vamos. 2010. Montevideo’s Citizen Perception Survey Report (Encuesta de Percepción Ciudadana). Montevideo Cómo Vamos, Montevideo.

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