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The digitization of the common system must integrate data and ensure ethical use

The digitization of the common system must integrate data and ensure ethical use

Integration and ethical treatment of information are points to consider while digitizing SUS operations. These were some of the points raised during the first day of the first International Symposium on Digital Transformation at SUS University, on Monday (2).

“As President Dilma said, our data is unbeatable, it does not match anything,” said Arthur Chioro, head of the Brazilian hospital services company, citing former President Dilma Rousseff. At that time Chioru was Minister of Health. “We need to overcome this fragmentation of information, which is very strategic for the administration. At the same time, we must put an end to this fragmentation that means we are unable to truly demand digital transformation,” he added.

Chioru said that during the transitional government, the diagnosis was that SUS policies had been disjointed during the previous years, especially from the point of view of information digitization. “The operation to destroy or attempt to destroy the SUS included, among other things, practical sabotage and dismantling of our information system,” he stressed during his speech.

For him, this situation, which is also witnessing a “historical lag”, raises the issue of the digitalization of processes as a central theme of the public health system. “It is impossible to think of a public, universal and comprehensive national health system, in a common federal structure, without being able to take very large and very consistent steps from the point of view of digital transformation,” he defended.

Masood Ahmed, digital information co-ordinator for NHS England, said SUS was inspiring action in his country. As an example, he pointed to measures to expand vaccination coverage in some areas. “We are confronting this with what we learned from the Brazilian system, which is knocking on doors and engaging communities,” he said, referring to programs like Saúde da Família and active research actions.

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When commenting on the use of data, Ahmed has highlighted on several occasions the need for transparency and social control in the use of this information. “The public has ethical concerns about data. How are we going to collect the data? How are we going to store it? How are we going to use this data?” he asked.