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Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
SOUZA, Leonardo Lemos de and COSTA, Juvenal Soares Dias da. Hospitalization for primary care-sensitive conditions in regional health districts in Southern Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2011, vol.45, n.4, pp.765-772. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102011000400017.
OBJECTIVE: To compare rates of hospitalization for primary care-sensitive conditions in the major municipalities of regional health districts. METHODS: An ecological study was carried out with both male and female subjects aged 20 to 59 years in the major municipalities of regional health districts in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil, between 1995 and 2007. Hospitalization data were obtained from the database of the Brazilian Health Care System (Datasus). Rates by Poisson regression with robust variance were analyzed. Rates for each municipality were compared to those of the remainder of the Rio Grande do Sul state excluding the major municipalities of each district. RESULTS: There was a reduction in the rates of hospitalization for primary care-sensitive conditions in all municipalities, with the exception of Porto Alegre (1.01) and Osório (1.02). Among larger municipalities, the greatest reductions were observed in Santa Maria (0.92) and Pelotas (0.93). Rates in medium-sized municipalities showed a decrease towards the end of the study period. Among small municipalities, only Lajeado and Frederico Westphalen showed rates lower than those of the rest of the state in 2007. The highest rates were found in the smallest municipalities. CONCLUSIONS: There was a trend towards a reduction in hospitalizations in almost all municipalities, possibly due to the expansion of primary health care that took place even prior to the implementation of the Family Health Program and changes in management. The high rates of hospitalization in small municipalities suggest that hospitalization for primary care-sensitive conditions may be a means of justifying an idle supply of hospital beds.
Keywords : Hospitalization, trends; Quality Indicators, Health Care; Primary Health Care; Health Services; Ecological Studies.