Tuberculosis in Salvador, Brazil: costs to health system and families

Costa, JG; Santos, AC; Rodrigues, LC; Barreto, ML; Roberts, JA; (2005) Tuberculosis in Salvador, Brazil: costs to health system and families. Revista de saude publica. p. 122. ISSN 0034-8910 DOI:

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Objective Tuberculosis is one the greatest causes of mortality worldwide, bill its economic effects are not well known. This study had the objective of estimating the costs to the public and private healthcare systems and to families of tuberculosis treatment and prevention. Methods This study was made in the municipality of Salvador, State of Bahia, Brazil, in 1999. Data for estimating the costs to the healthcare system were collected from? the Department of Health, healthcare facilities and a philanthropic institution. The public and private costs were analyzed using cost accounting methodology. Cost data relating to families were collected by means of questionnaires, and included data on transportation, food and other expenses, and also income losses associated with this disease. Results The average cost of treating one new case of tuberculosis was approximately US$103. The cost of treating one multiresistant patient was 27 higher than this. The cost to the public services consisted of 65% on hospitalization, 32% on treatment, and only 3% on prevention. The families committed around 33% of their income on expenses related to tuberculosis. Conclusion Despite the fact that the families did not have to pay for medications and treatment, given that this service is offered by the State, the costs to families related to loss of income due to the disease were very high. The proportion of public service finds utilized for prevention is small. Greater investment in prevention campaigns not only might diminish the numbers of cases but also might lead to earlier diagnosis, thus reducing the costs associated with hospitalization. The lack of an integrated cost accounting system makes it impossible to visualize costs across the various sectors.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: tuberculosis, epidemiology, health care costs, cost of illness, tuberculosis, costs to families, Economic-impact, diagnosis
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Research Centre: Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 15654469
Web of Science ID: 227725400016


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