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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


KILSZTAJN, Samuel et al. Hospital beds and mental health reform in Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.10, pp.2354-2362. ISSN 1678-4464.

The objective of this study was to estimate the number of psychiatric beds occupied per State in Brazil and the amount paid by the Unified National Health System (SUS) for hospitalizations, professional services, tests, and medicines in the country in 2004. The mean number of psychiatric beds occupied, estimated on the basis of total days of hospitalization during the year, and the amount paid by the SUS were obtained from the Hospital Admissions Authorizations (AIH). A total of 45 thousand psychiatric beds were occupied by the SUS in 2004. The SUS paid a total of BRL$487 million (some U$270 million) for hospitalization of patients with mental disorders in 2004. Private hospitals accounted for 78.8% of all psychiatric beds occupied by the SUS. Although the deactivation of 15 mil psychiatric beds could currently generate BRL$162 million (U$90 million) to be reallocated to non-hospital psychiatric services, planning and implementation of the Psychiatric Reform have been very limited. The precarious extra-hospital network has been used as a barrier to deactivation of psychiatric beds, although the latter generates the necessary resources for the former.

Keywords : Hospital Bed Capacity; Psychiatric Hospitals; Mental Disorders.

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