The efficient allocation of the still scarce resources has turned into a challenge for managers to achieve universality and comprehensiveness of the health care system. This study sought to assess the technical efficiency of investing SUS funds. This research was carried out in the seven counties that make up the 25th Health Region of Santa Catarina, which stands out for scoring the lowest HDI values in the State, and the lowest SUS Development Index values. The Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) methodology was applied, and the Health Technical efficiency Index (HTEI) proposed by Mendes (2005)MENDES, A. Financiamento, gastos e gestão do Sistema Único de Saúde: a gestão descentralizada semiplena e plena do Sistema Municipal no Estado de São Paulo (1995-2001). 2005. Tese (Doutorado em Economia) - Instituto de Economia da Unicamp, Campinas, 2005. was calculated. The DEA is a multi-variable mathematical programming tool to measure the efficiency of the processes with multiple resources and products. The HTEI shows the performance of each county regarding structure and results. The data gathered suggests this region invests higher shares of their revenue on health than the average of Santa Catarina, however, it does not experience the same reduction in general mortality that the State does. Such behavior may reflect the technical inefficiency observed in the counties studied. The challenge is, ultimately, the implementation of more sensitive mechanisms for monitoring, controlling and assessing the quality of local health services and actions. The conclusion is that all the counties have scored low HTEI values, and just one of them presented adequate technical efficiency.
efficiency; Health; Investments in Health