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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

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


SCATENA, João Henrique Gurtler; VIANA, Ana Luiza d'Ávila  and  TANAKA, Oswaldo Yoshimi. Financial and economic sustainability of public spending on health care by local governments: an analysis of data from municipalities in Mato Grosso State, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.11, pp.2433-2445. ISSN 1678-4464.

Brazil's Unified National Health System is financed according to a model known as fiscal federalism, the fund-sharing rules of the Social Security Budget, Ministry of Health norms, and Constitutional Amendment 29 (EC-29), which links Federal, State, and municipal resources to health. This article discusses the sustainability of public spending on health at the municipal level. Twenty-one municipalities were studied, using municipal budget data. From 1996 to 2006, total current per capita revenues increased by 280% above the accumulated inflation and Gross Domestic Product, varying by size of municipality, which also defined the composition of the municipal budgets. Meanwhile, the budget comprising the basis for EC-29 increased less (178%), thus placing limits on the municipal share of health spending. The results observed in these municipalities are believed to reflect the reality in thousands of other Brazilian municipalities, thus jeopardizing the capacity for municipal investment in health, especially beginning in 2008. The situation may become even worse, considering the repeal of the so-called Bank Transaction Tax (CPMF), Bills of Law 306/08 and 233/08 (currently under review in the National Congress), and the world recession stemming from the U.S. financial crisis.

Keywords : Single Health System; Health Financing; Health Expenditures; Decentralization.

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