Brazil – Insufficiency of federal funds for health services is burdening the municipalities

The insufficiency of the federal funds for health services has made municipalities increasingly dependent on their own revenues to keep the units functioning. According to the law municipalities are to invest a minimum 15% of their revenue towards health services.

However, 96% of the cities allocate more than 15% to the financing of the health sector. Of the 5,570 municipalities in the country, 129 invested in health insurance in 2016, 2,260 invested close to 20% and another 2,716 spent from close to 30% in the sector. Brazil has 1,158 news units of the unified health system (SUS) that have not been opened due to lack of funds.

Municipalities do not have the capacity to invest more and open the new units. The federal government currently is granting one-fifth of the required funds for operating the current units. It is estimated that the Ministry of Health spent over USD 314 billion on services that have not been inaugurated.


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