Fellow Since 2001
This profile was prepared when Renê Patriota was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
Renê is mobilizing citizens to demand their right to quality health services regardless of their illness, socio-economic background, or legal situation. She co-founded and now heads the Association for Users of Health Insurance, Health Plans, and Health Systems (ADUSEPS). The Association monitors and investigates the level of customer satisfaction with the governmental health system, private hospitals, and private clinics. Renê relies on a network of monitors comprised of Association members, church volunteers, and even prisoners completing community service obligations. Using the results of this monitoring, Renê's organization takes legal action against private health providers, insurance companies, and the state to gain immediate care for individuals with urgent health needs and pressure government decision makers and company owners to improve their services. Renê also conducts capacity-building courses and seminars to raise awareness about health rights for all sectors of society, including prisoners. Renê aims to improve health services by introducing greater accountability and transparency in the public and private health systems by giving voice to patients' concerns. Since access to quality health services is a national problem, Renê plans to form a network of associations modeled after ADUSEPS to implement the same course of action throughout Brazil.