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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


CAHUANA-HURTADO, Lucero; AVILA-BURGOS, Leticia; PEREZ-NUNEZ, Ricardo  and  URIBE-ZUNIGA, Patricia. Analysis of reproductive health expenditures in Mexico, 2003. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2006, vol.20, n.5, pp.287-298. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVES: To estimate reproductive health expenditures in Mexico during 2003; analyze how costs were distributed across the main programs, funding entities, and providers of health goods and services; and evaluate the relationship between reproductive health expenditures and economic indicators in different states, using health accounts methods. METHODS: We estimated reproductive health expenditures between January and December 2003, at the national and state level. We used health accounts methods adjusted for the particular characteristics of Mexico on the basis of information from public and private sources. Expenditures were calculated for the four main reproductive health programs (maternal-perinatal health, family planning, cervical and uterine cancer, and breast cancer) according to different funding entities, goods and services providers, and functions of health care, in both the public and private sector. We estimated public expenditures by state per beneficiary, and analyzed how these costs were related with pubic health care expenditures and annual per capita gross domestic product (GDP) for each state. RESULTS: The reproductive health expenditures in Mexico during the year 2003 were US$ 2.912 6 billion, a figure that represented 0.5% of the national GDP in 2003 and slightly more than 8% of the total health care expenditures. Costs were higher for public entities (53.5%) than for private entities (46.5%). The maternal-perinatal health program accounted for the highest costs, mainly from deliveries and complications; direct payments from households accounted for nearly 50% of the total figure. Costs for family planning were accrued mainly in the public sector, and represented 5.9% of the total expenditure. Of the total spending on reproductive health, 7.9% was devoted to cervical and uterine cancer and breast cancer programs. Mean public expenditures on reproductive health per beneficiary were US$ 680.03, and differences between states were associated with differences in public health expenditures (r = 0.80; P < 0.001) and per capita GDP (r = 0.75; P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: The health accounts method allowed us to estimate reproductive health expenditures in Mexico in 2003. Enhancing reproductive health actions and programs by basing expenditure assignments on evidence and focusing on least-favored populations is an ethical, human rights, and developmental imperative.

Keywords : Health expenditures; health care costs; reproductive health services; Mexico.

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