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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


GONCALVES, Renata Weber; VIEIRA, Fabíola Sulpino  and  DELGADO, Pedro Gabriel Godinho. Mental Health Policy in Brazil: federal expenditure evolution between 2001 and 2009. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.1, pp.51-58.  Epub Dec 20, 2011. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the evolution of estimates of federal spending in Brazil's Mental Health Program since the promulgation of the national mental health law. METHODS: The total federal outlay of the Mental Health Program and its components of hospital and extra-hospital expenses were estimated based on 21 expenses categories from 2001 to 2009. The expenses amount was updated to values in reais of 2009 by means of the use of the Índice de Preços ao Consumidor Amplo (Broad Consumer Price Index). The per capita/year value of the federal expenditure on mental health was calculated. RESULTS: The outlay on mental health rose 51.3% in the period. The breakdown of the expenditures revealed a significant increase in the extra-hospital value (404.2%) and a decrease in the hospital one (-39.5%). The per capita expenditures had a lower, but still significant, growth (36.2%). The historical series of the disaggregated per capita expenditures showed that in 2006, for the first time, the extra-hospital expenditure was higher than the hospital one. The extra-hospital per capita value increased by 354.0%; the per capita hospital value decreased by 45.5%. CONCLUSIONS: There was a significant increase in federal outlay on mental health between 2001 and 2009 and an expressive investment in extra-hospital actions. From 2006 onwards, resources allocation was shifted towards community services. The funding component played a crucial role as the inducer of the change of the mental health care model. The challenge for the coming years is maintaining and increasing the resources for mental health in a context of underfunding of the National Health System.

Keywords : Mental Health; Program Evaluation, economics; Health Expenditures; Resource Allocation; Health Policy; Unified Health System.

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