A telecardiology remote cardiology medical care system was implemented in 82 municipalities of Minas Gerais State, Brazil to support basic network services in the early diagnosis and management of cardiovascular diseases. Objective: To investigate the factors associated with the implementation of this program in the municipalities.
This 2006 ecological study involved 393 candidate municipalities to implement the system. The municipalities were divided into two groups: non-random intervention (n = 82) and comparative (n = 311). The social, structure, healthcare needs, and governability indexes of the two groups of municipalities were compared by descriptive and multiple regression analysis using the generalized estimation equation model.
After fitting for other characteristics, participation of the municipalities in the intervention was associated with a higher social responsibility index (OR: 2.44, CI: 1.50–3.96) and lower healthcare needs (OR: 2.29, CI: 1.24–4.22).
Greater efforts by municipality management was the key to attracting and implementing the remote cardiology intervention, even when fitted for lower healthcare needs, which suggests greater municipal political and social engagement. This translated to improved access to cardiovascular health care for Brazilian rural and remote populations in the intervention municipalities.