The article described the historical context of health management training in Brazil and aimed at identifying similarities and differences between this training in Brazil and Spain, using qualitative approach and comparative method. Data sources included the scientific literature, official documents orienting interventions in health management training, and semi-structured interviews. Interviews were conducted with managers selected on the basis of currently occupying or having occupied management positions, besides experience and participation in shaping policies in health, totaling four managers in Brazil and six in Spain. Based on thematic content analysis, the results were related to the category of “institutionality” according to the following themes: health and education policy, management training policy, and professionalization. A common element was that Brazil and Spain both adopt health protection as a civic right through universal public health systems. The most significant difference relates to population coverage, nearly complete in Spain in the late 1990s. The study showed the lack of a national training policy for managers in both countries and that such a policy is essential for professionalization in health management. Although the theme of professionalization exists in Brazil, in Spain it has distinct institutional characteristics, having achieved important recent progress.
Professional Training in Health; Health Management; National Health Systems; Comparative Study; Professionalization