Codes of ethics role in the administration of the Portuguese health sector: the leaders vision

  • Pedro Miguel Alves Ribeiro Correia
  • Ivone Carla de Matos e Dias Ferreira
  • João Abreu de Faria Bilhim


Changes and reforms in public administration and, in particular, in health administration, created a number of challenges for leaders, which include the creation and implementation of codes of ethics, a factor that generates tensions within institutions. This article describes the vision on the subject of ethics management, held by senior managers in the public health sector in Portugal. The research was conducted in late 2015 and included in-depth interviews with 11 leaders as well as the analysis of the legal framework of this subject. Content analysis techniques were used to study the collected narratives. The views expressed by the leaders highlight four topics relating to codes of ethics: their importance in health institutions; their preparation and review; their dissemination and knowledge; and their role in the organizational environment.