Brazil debates legislating on spending levels to support "healthcare pact":
This article was originally published in Clinica
Brazil's health minister, Jose Gomes Temporao, is pushing for Congress to adopt the so-called "29th constitutional amendment" that would set minimum levels of spending on healthcare, as a proportion of GDP. In an interview for the Gazeta Mercantil (May 21), posted on the health ministry website, he is calling for it to be approved as a matter of urgency, in support of the package of structural, delivery and financing reforms that are known comprehensively as the Pacto pela saude. This "healthcare pact" is important for the way the federal health budget - R$49.74bn (US$25.4bn) in 2007 - is calculated and disbursed across five funding blocks (basic- and medium-technology levels of care; high-complexity inpatient/outpatient procedures; surveillance; copayments; and operational management), instead of across 130 segments of the service.