40 results found
Bexson C, Millett C, Pacheco Santos LM, et al., 2021, Brazil’s more doctors programme and infant health outcomes: a longitudinal analysis, Human Resources for Health, Vol: 19, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 1478-4491
BackgroundProviding sufficient numbers of human resources for health is essential for effective and accessible health services. Between 2013 and 2018, the Brazilian Ministry of Health implemented the Programa Mais Médicos (PMM) (More Doctors Programme) to increase the supply of primary care doctors in underserved areas of the country. This study investigated the association between PMM and infant health outcomes and assessed if heterogeneity in the impact of PMM varied by municipal socioeconomic factors and health indicators.MethodsAn ecological longitudinal (panel) study design was employed to analyse data from 5,565 Brazilian municipalities over a 12-year period between 2007 and 2018. A differences-in-differences approach was implemented using longitudinal fixed effect regression models to compare infant health outcomes in municipalities receiving a PMM doctor with those that did not receive a PMM doctor. The impact of PMM was assessed on aggregate and in municipality subgroups. ResultsOn aggregate, the PMM was not significantly associated with changes in infant or neonatal mortality, but the PMM was associated with reductions in IMR (of -0.21; 95% CI: -0.38,-0.03) in municipalities with highest IMR prior to the programme’s implementation (where IMR >25.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births). The PMM was also associated with an increase in the proportion of expectant mothers receiving seven or more prenatal care visits but only in municipalities with a lower IMR at baseline and high density of non-PMM doctors and community health workers before the PMM.ConclusionsThe PMM was associated with reduced infant mortality in municipalities with the highest infant mortality rate prior to the programme. This suggests effectiveness of the PMM was limited only to the areas of greatest need. New programmes to improve the equitable provision of human resources for health should employ comprehensive targeting approaches balancing health needs and socioeconomic
Mrejen M, Rocha R, Millett C, et al., 2021, The quality of alternative models of primary health care and morbidity and mortality in Brazil: a national longitudinal analysis, The Lancet Regional Health - Americas, Pages: 100034-100034, ISSN: 2667-193X
BackgroundEvidence is limited on health benefits from quality improvement of primary healthcare (PHC) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This study investigated whether increasing PHC quality in Brazil with highly-skilled health professionals and integrated community health workers (CHWs) was associated with reductions in hospitalizations and mortality beyond benefits derived from increasing access.MethodsAnnual municipal-level data for 5,411 municipalities between 2000 and 2014 were analysed using fixed effects panel regressions. PHC quality was measured as: i) the proportion of consultations provided by highly-skilled health professionals (doctors and nurses); and ii) the proportion of visits provided by CHWs from multidisciplinary PHC teams. Models assessed associations between PHC quality and hospitalization and mortality from diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), tuberculosis, leprosy, perinatal and maternal causes, and adjusted for PHC access, utilisation, presence of secondary care services, and socioeconomic factors.FindingsA one percentage point increase in the proportion of consultations provided by highly-skilled health professionals was associated with 0•019 fewer deaths from diabetes per 100,000 population (95%CI: -0•034, -0•003; p-value: 0.0167) and 0•029 fewer hospitalizations per 100,000 from leprosy (95%CI: -0•055, -0•002; p-value: 0.0321). A one percentage point increase in the proportion of care provided by CHWs from multidisciplinary PHC teams was associated with 0•025 fewer deaths from CVD per 100,000 (95%CI: -0•050, -0•001; p-value: 0.0442) and 0•148 fewer maternal hospital admissions per 100,000 (95%CI: -0•286, -0•010; p-value: 0.0356). No significant associations were found for the other twenty pairs of exposures and outcomes analysed.InterpretationInvesting in higher-quality PHC models with highly-skilled health professionals and integrated CHWs can deliver reductions in
Hone T, Stokes J, Trajman A, et al., 2021, Racial and socioeconomic disparities in multimorbidity and associated healthcare utilisation and outcomes in Brazil: a cross-sectional analysis of three million individuals, BMC Public Health, Vol: 21, ISSN: 1471-2458
Background:Evidence is limited on racial/ethnic group disparities in multimorbidity and associated health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries hampering effective policies and clinical interventions to address health inequalities.Methods:This study assessed race/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in the prevalence of multimorbidity and associated healthcare utilisation, costs and death in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A cross-sectional analysis was carried out of 3,027,335 individuals registered with primary healthcare (PHC) services. Records included linked data to hospitalisation, mortality, and welfare-claimant (Bolsa Família) records between 1 Jan 2012 and 31 Dec 2016. Logistic and Poisson regression models were carried out to assess the likelihood of multimorbidity (two or more diagnoses out of 53 chronic conditions), PHC use, hospital admissions and mortality from any cause. Interactions were used to assess disparities.Results:In total 13,509,633 healthcare visits were analysed identifying 389,829 multimorbid individuals (13%). In adjusted regression models, multimorbidity was associated with lower education (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR): 1.26; 95%CI: 1.23,1.29; compared to higher education), Bolsa Família receipt (AOR: 1.14; 95%CI: 1.13,1.15; compared to non-recipients); and black race/ethnicity (AOR: 1.05; 95%CI: 1.03,1.06; compared to white). Multimorbidity was associated with more hospitalisations (Adjusted Rate Ratio (ARR): 2.75; 95%CI: 2.69,2.81), more PHC visits (ARR: 3.46; 95%CI: 3.44,3.47), and higher likelihood of death (AOR: 1.33; 95%CI: 1.29,1.36). These associations were greater for multimorbid individuals with lower educational attainment (five year probability of death 1.67% (95%CI: 1.61,1.74%) compared to 1.13% (95%CI: 1.02,1.23%) for higher education), individuals of black race/ethnicity (1.48% (95%CI: 1.41,1.55%) compared to 1.35% (95%CI: 1.31,1.40%) for white) and individuals in receipt of welfare (1.89% (95%CI: 1.77,2.00%) co
Alves LC, Sanchez MN, Hone T, et al., 2021, The association between a conditional cash transfer programme and malaria incidence: a longitudinal ecological study in the Brazilian Amazon between 2004 and 2015, BMC Public Health, Vol: 21, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 1471-2458
BackgroundMalaria causes 400 thousand deaths worldwide annually. In 2018, 25% (187,693) of the total malaria cases in the Americas were in Brazil, with nearly all (99%) Brazilian cases in the Amazon region. The Bolsa Família Programme (BFP) is a conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme launched in 2003 to reduce poverty and has led to improvements in health outcomes. CCT programmes may reduce the burden of malaria by alleviating poverty and by promoting access to healthcare, however this relationship is underexplored. This study investigated the association between BFP coverage and malaria incidence in Brazil.MethodsA longitudinal panel study was conducted of 807 municipalities in the Brazilian Amazon between 2004 and 2015. Negative binomial regression models adjusted for demographic and socioeconomic covariates and time trends were employed with fixed effects specifications.ResultsA one percentage point increase in municipal BFP coverage was associated with a 0.3% decrease in the incidence of malaria (RR = 0.997; 95% CI = 0.994–0.998). The average municipal BFP coverage increased 24 percentage points over the period 2004–2015 corresponding to be a reduction of 7.2% in the malaria incidence.ConclusionsHigher coverage of the BFP was associated with a reduction in the incidence of malaria. CCT programmes should be encouraged in endemic regions for malaria in order to mitigate the impact of disease and poverty itself in these settings.
Coeli CM, Saraceni V, Mota Medeiros Jr P, et al., 2021, Record linkage under suboptimal conditions for data-intensive evaluation of primary care in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, Vol: 21, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 1472-6947
BackgroundLinking Brazilian databases demands the development of algorithms and processes to deal with various challenges including the large size of the databases, the low number and poor quality of personal identifiers available to be compared (national security number not mandatory), and some characteristics of Brazilian names that make the linkage process prone to errors. This study aims to describe and evaluate the quality of the processes used to create an individual-linked database for data-intensive research on the impacts on health indicators of the expansion of primary care in Rio de Janeiro City, Brazil.MethodsWe created an individual-level dataset linking social benefits recipients, primary health care, hospital admission and mortality data. The databases were pre-processed, and we adopted a multiple approach strategy combining deterministic and probabilistic record linkage techniques, and an extensive clerical review of the potential matches. Relying on manual review as the gold standard, we estimated the false match (false-positive) proportion of each approach (deterministic, probabilistic, clerical review) and the missed match proportion (false-negative) of the clerical review approach. To assess the sensitivity (recall) to identifying social benefits recipients’ deaths, we used their vital status registered on the primary care database as the gold standard.ResultsIn all linkage processes, the deterministic approach identified most of the matches. However, the proportion of matches identified in each approach varied. The false match proportion was around 1% or less in almost all approaches. The missed match proportion in the clerical review approach of all linkage processes were under 3%. We estimated a recall of 93.6% (95% CI 92.8–94.3) for the linkage between social benefits recipients and mortality data.ConclusionThe adoption of a linkage strategy combining pre-processing routines, deterministic, and probabilistic strategies, as well as
Siqueira M, Coube M, Millett C, et al., 2021, The impacts of health systems financing fragmentation in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review protocol, Systematic Reviews, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2046-4053
BackgroundHealth systems are often fragmented in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This can increase inefficiencies and restrict progress towards universal health coverage. The objective of the systematic review described in this protocol will be to evaluate and synthesize the evidence concerning the impacts of health systems financing fragmentation in LMICs.MethodsLiterature searches will be conducted in multiple electronic databases, from their inception onwards, including MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, CINAHL, Scopus, ScienceDirect, Scielo, Cochrane Library, EconLit, and JSTOR. Gray literature will be also targeted through searching OpenSIGLE, Google Scholar, and institutional websites (e.g., HMIC, The World Bank, WHO, PAHO, OECD). The search strings will include keywords related to LMICs, health system financing fragmentation, and health system goals. Experimental, quasi-experimental, and observational studies conducted in LMICs and examining health financing fragmentation across any relevant metric (e.g., the presence of different health funders/insurers, risk pooling mechanisms, eligibility categories, benefits packages, premiums) will be included. Studies will be eligible if they compare financing fragmentation in alternative settings or at least two-time points. The primary outcomes will be health system-related goals such as health outcomes (e.g., mortality, morbidity, patient-reported outcome measures) and indicators of access, services utilization, equity, and financial risk protection. Additional outcomes will include intermediate health system objectives (e.g., indicators of efficiency and quality). Two reviewers will independently screen all citations, abstract data, and full-text articles. Potential conflicts will be resolved through discussion and, when necessary, resolved by a third reviewer. The methodological quality (or risk of bias) of selected studies will be appraised using established checklists. Data extraction categories will include the
Laverty AA, Hone T, Goodman A, et al., 2021, Associations of active travel with adiposity among children and socioeconomic differentials: a longitudinal study, BMJ Open, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 2044-6055
Objectives Examine longitudinal associations between modes of travel to school and adiposity.Setting The UK.Participants 8432 children surveyed at ages 7, 11 and 14 years from the UK Millennium Cohort Study.Primary and secondary outcomes Objective percentage body fat and body mass index (BMI). Transport mode was categorised as private motorised transport, public transport and active transport (walking or cycling). Socioeconomic position (SEP) was measured by household income group and occupational social class. We adjusted analyses for changes in the country of UK, frequency of eating breakfast, self-reported growth spurts, hours of screen time and days per week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Longitudinal (panel) regression models adjusting for individual fixed effects examined associations in changes in mode of travel to school and adiposity, controlling for both time-varying and time-invariant potential confounders. Interaction tests and stratified analyses investigated differences by markers of SEP.Results At age 14 years, 26.1% of children (2198) reported using private motorised transport, 35.3% (2979) used public transport and 38.6% (3255) used active transport to get to school. 36.6% (3083) of children changed mode two times between the three waves and 50.7% (4279) changed once. Compared with continuing to use private transport, switching to active transport was associated with a lower BMI (−0.21 kg/m2, 95% CI −0.31 to −0.10) and body fat (−0.55%, 95% CI −0.80% to −0.31%). Switching to public transport was associated with lower percentage body fat (−0.43%, 95% CI −0.75% to −0.12%), but associations with BMI did not reach statistical significance (−0.13 kg/m2, 95% CI −0.26 to 0.01). Interaction tests showed a trend for these effects to be stronger in more deprived groups, but these interactions did not reach statistical significance.Conclusion This longitudinal study during a key life
Paes-Sousa R, Millett C, Rocha R, et al., 2020, Science misuse and polarised political narratives in the COVID-19 response, The Lancet, Vol: 396, Pages: 1635-1636, ISSN: 0140-6736
Hone T, Saraceni V, Coeli CM, et al., 2020, Primary health care expansion and mortality in Brazil’s urban poor: a cohort analysis of 1.2 million adults, PLoS Medicine, Vol: 17, Pages: 1-20, ISSN: 1549-1277
BackgroundExpanding delivery of primary health care to urban poor populations is a priority in many low-and middle-income countries. This remains a key challenge in Brazil despite expansion of the country’s internationally recognised Family Health Strategy (FHS) over the past two decades. This study evaluates the impact of an ambitious program to rapidly expand FHS coverage in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil since 2008. Methods and FindingsA cohort of 1,241,351 million low-income adults (observed January 2010-December 2016; total person-years 6,498,607) with linked FHS utilisation and mortality records was analysed using flexible parametric survival models. Time-to-death from all-causes and selected causes were estimated for FHS users and non-users. Models employed inverse probability treatment weighting and regression adjustment (IPTW-RA).The cohort was 61% female (751,895) and had a mean age of 36 years (standard deviation 16.4). Only 18,721 individuals (1.5%) had higher education whilst 102,899 (8%) had no formal education. Two-thirds of individuals (827250; 67%) were in receipt of conditional cash transfers (Bolsa Família). A total of 34,091 deaths were analysed of which 8,765 (26%) were due to cardiovascular disease, 5,777 (17%) due to neoplasms, 5,683 (17%) due to external causes, 3,152 (9%) due to respiratory diseases, and 3,115 (9%) due to infectious and parasitic diseases. One third of the cohort (467,155; 37.6%) used FHS services. In IPTW-RA survival analysis, an average FHS user had a 44% lower hazard of all-cause mortality (HR: 0.56, 95%CI: 0.54 to 0.59, p<0.001) and a five-year risk reduction of 8.3 per 1000 (95%CI: 7.8 to 8.9, p<0.001) compared to a non-FHS user. There were greater reductions in the risk of death for FHS users who: were black (HR:0.50 (95%CI: 0.46 to 0.54, p<0.001)) or pardo (HR:0.57 (95%CI: 0.54 to 0.60, p<0.001) compared to white (HR:0.59 (95%CI: 0.56 to 0.63, p<0.001); had lower educational attainment
Hone T, Powell-Jackon T, Santos LMP, et al., 2020, Impact of the Programa Mais médicos (more doctors Programme) on primary care doctor supply and amenable mortality: quasi-experimental study of 5565 Brazilian municipalities, BMC Health Services Research, Vol: 20, ISSN: 1472-6963
BackgroundInvesting in human resources for health (HRH) is vital for achieving universal health care and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Programa Mais Médicos (PMM) (More Doctors Programme) provided 17,000 doctors, predominantly from Cuba, to work in Brazilian primary care. This study assesses whether PMM doctor allocation to municipalities was consistent with programme criteria and associated impacts on amenable mortality.MethodsDifference-in-differences regression analysis, exploiting variation in PMM introduction across 5565 municipalities over the period 2008–2017, was employed to examine programme impacts on doctor density and mortality amenable to healthcare. Heterogeneity in effects was explored with respect to doctor allocation criteria and municipal doctor density prior to PMM introduction.ResultsAfter starting in 2013, PMM was associated with an increase in PMM-contracted primary care doctors of 15.1 per 100,000 population. However, largescale substitution of existing primary care doctors resulting in a net increase of only 5.7 per 100,000. Increases in both PMM and total primary care doctors were lower in priority municipalities due to lower allocation of PMM doctors and greater substitution effects. The PMM led to amenable mortality reductions of − 1.06 per 100,000 (95%CI: − 1.78 to − 0.34) annually – with greater benefits in municipalities prioritised for doctor allocation and where doctor density was low before programme implementation.ConclusionsPMM potential health benefits were undermined due to widespread allocation of doctors to non-priority areas and local substitution effects. Policies seeking to strengthen HRH should develop and implement needs-based criteria for resource allocation.
Jawad M, Hone T, Vamos E, et al., 2020, Estimating indirect mortality impacts of armed conflict in civilian populations: panel regression analyses of 193 countries, 1990-2017, BMC Medicine, Vol: 266, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 1741-7015
BackgroundArmed conflict can indirectly affect population health through detrimental impacts on political and social institutions and destruction of infrastructure. This study aimed to quantify indirect mortality impacts of armed conflict in civilian populations globally, and explore differential effects by armed conflict characteristics and population groups.Methods We included 193 countries between 1990 and 2017 and constructed fixed effects panel regression models using data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program and Global Burden of Disease study. Mortality rates were corrected to exclude battle-related deaths. We assessed separately four different armed conflict variables (capturing binary, continuous, categorical and quintile exposures) and ran models by cause-specific mortality stratified by age groups and sex. Post-estimation analyses calculated the number of civilian deaths. ResultsWe identified 1,118 unique armed conflicts. Armed conflict was associated with increases in civilian mortality - driven by conflicts categorised as wars. Wars were associated with an increase in age-standardised all-cause mortality of 81.5 per 100.000 population (β 81.5, 95% CI 14.3-148.8) in adjusted models contributing 29.4 million civilian deaths (95% CI 22.1-36.6) globally over the study period. Mortality rates from communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases (β 51.3, 95% CI 2.6-99.9), non-communicable diseases (β 22.7, 95% CI 0.2-45.2) and injuries (β 7.6, 95% CI 3.4-11.7) associated with war increased, contributing 21.0 million (95% CI 16.3-25.6), 6.0 million (95% CI 4.1-8.0), and 2.4 million deaths (95% CI 1.7-3.1) respectively. War-associated increases in all-cause and cause-specific mortality were found across all age groups and both genders, but children aged 0-5 years had the largest relative increases in mortality. Conclusions Armed conflict, particularly war, is associated with a substantial indirect mortality impact among civilians
Laverty A, Hone T, Vamos EP, et al., 2020, Impact of banning smoking in cars with children on exposure to second-hand smoke: a natural experiment in England and Scotland, Thorax, Vol: 75, Pages: 345-347, ISSN: 0040-6376
England banned smoking in cars carrying children in 2015 and Scotland in 2016. With survey data from three years for both countries (NEngland=3,483-6,920,NScotland=232-319), we used this natural experiment to assess impacts of the English ban using logistic regression within a difference-in-differences framework. Among children aged 13-15 years, self-reported levels of regular exposure to smoke in cars were 3.4% in 2012, 2.2% in 2014 and 1.3% in 2016 for Scotland and 6.3%, 5.9% and 1.6% in England. The ban in England was associated with a -4.1% (95%CI -4.9%;-3.3%) absolute reduction (72% relative reduction) in exposure to tobacco smoke among children.
Shimizu HE, Santos LMP, Sanchez MN, et al., 2020, Percepções acerca do Programa Mais Médicos e do Processo de Supervisão Acadêmica, Revista Brasileira de Educação Médica, Vol: 44, ISSN: 0100-5502
<jats:p>Abstract: Introduction: This study aims to analyze the perceptions of the involved actors about the “Mais Médicos” Program (PMM) and the academic supervision process, its strengths and weaknesses aiming to improve Primary Heath Care practices. Method: Qualitative study carried out through 05 in-depth interviews with PMM supervising doctors, and 24 interviews with unit managers, 12 Primary Heath Care coordinators, and 07 Secondary Health Care doctors. Results: Three thematic axes emerged from de analysis: benefits of the program for the municipalities and for the population; the challenges of the supervisory process and the difficulties of the fragmented health system. Conclusions: The actors’ perception of the “Mais Médicos” Program are positive, especially because it brought doctors to municipalities with vulnerable areas, where doctors did not go to and where they did not stay. Supervision is an important support for continuing in-service training; however, it requires a better articulation with the different levels of the health system management. The precariousness of the service network limits the performance of both doctors and supervisors, demonstrating that it is necessary to invest in a solid and effective care network. Moreover, it was once again evident that the population will face a shortage of doctors due to changes in health policies. It is necessary to build more comprehensive policies, that will not only result in sporadic provision of medical care. There is a need for continuous actions, better integrated to the healthcare networks, aiming at an efficient and effective healthcare system.</jats:p>
Shimizu HE, Leonor Maria PS, Mauro Niskier S, et al., 2020, Perceptions about the “Mais Médicos” Program and the Academic Supervision Process, Revista Brasileira de Educação Médica, ISSN: 0100-5502
Hone T, Mirelman AJ, Rasella D, et al., 2019, Effect of economic recession and impact of health and social protection expenditures on adult mortality: a longitudinal analysis of 5565 Brazilian municipalities, The Lancet Global Health, Vol: 7, Pages: E1575-E1583, ISSN: 2214-109X
BackgroundEconomic recession might worsen health in low-income and middle-income countries with precarious job markets and weak social protection systems. Between 2014–16, a major economic crisis occurred in Brazil. We aimed to assess the association between economic recession and adult mortality in Brazil and to ascertain whether health and social welfare programmes in the country had a protective effect against the negative impact of this recession.MethodsIn this longitudinal analysis, we obtained data from the Brazilian Ministry of Health, the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics, the Ministry of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger, and the Information System for the Public Budget in Health to assess changes in state unemployment level and mortality among adults (aged ≥15 years) in Brazil between 2012 and 2017. Outcomes were municipal all-cause and cause-specific mortality rates for all adults and across population subgroups stratified by age, sex, and race. We used fixed-effect panel regression models with quarterly timepoints to assess the association between recession and changes in mortality. Mortality and unemployment rates were detrended using Hodrick–Prescott filters to assess cyclical variation and control for underlying trends. We tested interactions between unemployment and terciles of municipal social protection and health-care expenditure to assess whether the relationship between unemployment and mortality varied.FindingsBetween 2012 and 2017, 7 069 242 deaths were recorded among adults (aged ≥15 years) in 5565 municipalities in Brazil. During this time period, the mean crude municipal adult mortality rate increased by 8·0% from 143·1 deaths per 100 000 in 2012 to 154·5 deaths per 100 000 in 2017. An increase in unemployment rate of 1 percentage-point was associated with a 0·50 increase per 100 000 population per rter (95% CI 0·09–0·91) in all-cause mortality, mainl
Souza LEPFD, Barros RDD, Barreto ML, et al., 2019, The potential impact of austerity on attainment of the sustainable development goals in Brazil, BMJ Global Health, Vol: 4, ISSN: 2059-7908
In the recent decades, Brazil has outperformed comparable countries in its progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Many of these improvements have been driven by investments in health and social policies. In this article, we aim to identify potential impacts of austerity policies in Brazil on the chances of achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and its consequences for population health. Austerity’s anticipated impacts are assessed by analysing the change in federal spending on different budget programmes from 2014 to 2017. We collected budget data made publicly available by the Senate. Among the selected 19 programmes, only 4 had their committed budgets increased, in real terms, between 2014 and 2017. The total amount of extra money committed to these four programmes in 2017, above that committed in 2014, was small (BR$9.7 billion). Of the 15 programmes that had budget cuts in the period from 2014 to 2017, the total decrease amounted to BR$60.2 billion (US$15.3 billion). In addition to the overall large budget reduction, it is noteworthy that the largest proportional reductions were in programmes targeted at more vulnerable populations. In conclusion, it seems clear that the current austerity policies in Brazil will probably damage the population’s health and increase inequities, and that the possibility of meeting SDG targets is lower in 2018 than it was in 2015.
Hone T, Gómez-Dantés O, 2019, Broadening universal health coverage for children in Mexico, The Lancet Global Health, Vol: 7, Pages: e1308-e1309, ISSN: 2214-109X
Castro M, Massuda A, Almeida G, et al., 2019, Brazil's unified health system: the first 30 years and prospects for the future, Lancet, Vol: 394, Pages: 345-356, ISSN: 0140-6736
In 1988, Brazilian Constitution definedhealth as a universal right and stateresponsibility. Progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) has been achievedthrough a Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde, SUS)which was created in 1990. Withsuccesses and setbacksin the implementation of health programmes and organization of its health system, Brazil has achieved nearly-universal access to health servicesfor her citizens. Thetrajectory of the development and expansion of the SUS offers valuable lessons on how to scale UHC in a health system in a highly-unequal country and relatively low resources. Theanalysis of the 30 years since the inception of SUS shows that innovations in the Brazilian health system extendbeyond the development of new models of care and highlightsthe importance of establishing political, legal, organizational and management-related structures, and the role of the federal and local governmentsin the governance, planning, financing, and provision of health services. Theexpansion of SUS has allowed Brazilto rapidly address the changing health needs, withdramatic scaling up health service coverage in justthree decades. However, despite its successes, analysis of future scenarios suggests the urgent need to address lingering geographic inequalities, insufficient funding, and the suboptimal private-public collaboration. Recent fiscal policies that ushered austerity measures, environmental, educational and health policies of the new administraion introduced in Brazilcould reverse the hard-earned achievements of the SUS and threaten itssustainability and its ability to fulfilits constitutional mandate of providing‘health for all’.
Hone T, Szklo AS, Filippidis F, et al., 2019, Smoke-free legislation and neonatal and infant mortality in Brazil: a longitudinal quasi-experimental study, Tobacco Control, Vol: 29, Pages: 312-319, ISSN: 0964-4563
Objective To examine the associations of partial and comprehensive smoke-free legislation with neonatal and infant mortality in Brazil using a quasi-experimental study design.Design Monthly longitudinal (panel) ecological study from January 2000 to December 2016.Setting All Brazilian municipalities (n=5565).Participants Infant populations.Intervention Smoke-free legislation in effect in each municipality and month. Legislation was encoded as basic (allowing smoking areas), partial (segregated smoking rooms) or comprehensive (no smoking in public buildings). Associations were quantified by immediate step and longer term slope/trend changes in outcomes.Statistical analyses Municipal-level linear fixed-effects regression models.Main outcomes measures Infant and neonatal mortality.Results Implementation of partial smoke-free legislation was associated with a −3.3 % (95% CI −6.2% to −0.4%) step reduction in the municipal infant mortality rate, but no step change in neonatal mortality. Comprehensive smoke-free legislation implementation was associated with −5.2 % (95% CI −8.3% to −2.1%) and −3.4 % (95% CI −6.7% to −0.1%) step reductions in infant and neonatal mortality, respectively, and a −0.36 (95% CI −0.66 to−0.06) annual decline in the infant mortality rate. We estimated that had all smoke-free legislation introduced since 2004 been comprehensive, an additional 10 091 infant deaths (95% CI 1196 to 21 761) could have been averted.Conclusions Strengthening smoke-free legislation in Brazil is associated with improvements in infant health outcomes—particularly under comprehensive legislation. Governments should accelerate implementation of comprehensive smoke-free legislation to protect infant health and achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal three.
Rasella D, Hone T, de Souza LE, et al., 2019, Mortality associated with alternative primary health care policies: a nationwide microsimulation modelling study in Brazil, BMC Medicine, Vol: 17, ISSN: 1741-7015
BackgroundBrazil’s Estratégia Saúde da Família (ESF) is one of the largest and most robustly evaluated primary healthcare programmes of the world, but it could be affected by fiscal austerity measures and by the possible end of the Mais Médicos programme (MMP)—a major intervention to increase primary care doctors in underserved areas. We forecast the impact of alternative scenarios of ESF coverage changes on under-70 mortality from ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (ACSCs) until 2030, the date for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).MethodA synthetic cohort of 5507 Brazilian municipalities was created for the period 2017–2030. A municipal-level microsimulation model was developed and validated using longitudinal data and estimates from a previous retrospective study evaluating the effects of municipal ESF coverage on mortality rates. Reductions in ESF coverage, and its effects on ACSC mortality, were forecast based on two probable austerity scenarios, compared with the maintenance of the current coverage or the expansion to 100%. Fixed effects longitudinal regression models were employed to account for secular trends, demographic and socioeconomic changes, healthcare-related variables, and programme duration effects.ResultsUnder austerity scenarios of decreasing ESF coverage with and without the MMP termination, mean ACSC mortality rates would be 8.60% (95% CI 7.03–10.21%; 48,546 excess premature/under-70 deaths along 2017–2030) and 5.80% (95% CI 4.23–7.35%; 27,685 excess premature deaths) higher respectively in 2030 compared to maintaining the current ESF coverage.Comparing decreasing ESF coverage and MMP termination with achieving 100% ESF coverage (Universal Health Coverage scenario) in 2030, mortality rates would be 11.12% higher (95% CI 9.47–12.76%; 83,937 premature deaths). Reductions in ESF coverage would have stronger effects on mortality from infectious diseases and
Patterson R, Webb E, Hone T, et al., 2019, Associations of public transportation use with cardiometabolic health: a systematic review and meta-analysis, American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol: 188, Pages: 785-795, ISSN: 1476-6256
Public transport provides an opportunity to incorporate physical activity into journeys, but potential health impacts have not been systematically examined. Literature searches were carried out up to December 2017 using Medline, Embase, Transport Database, Scopus, Cochrane Library, opengrey.eu and Google. We identified longitudinal studies which examined associations between public transport and cardio-metabolic health including: adiposity, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. We assessed study quality using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for cohort studies and performed meta-analyses where possible. Ten studies were identified, seven investigating use of public transport and three examining proximity to public transport. Seven studies used individual level data on changes in BMI with objective outcomes measured in six studies. Study follow-up ranged from one to ten years with three studies adjusting for non-transport physical activity. We found a consistent association between public transport use and lower BMI. Meta-analysis of data from five comparable studies found that switching from car to public transport was associated with lower BMI: −0.30 kg/m2 (−0.47, −0.14). Few studies have investigated associations between public transport use and non-adiposity outcomes. These findings suggest that sustainable urban design which promotes public transport use may produce modest reductions in population BMI.
Qin V, Hone T, Millett C, et al., 2019, The impact of user charges on health outcomes in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review, BMJ Global Health, Vol: 3, ISSN: 2059-7908
Background User charges are widely used health financing mechanisms in many health systems in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) due to insufficient public health spending on health. This study systematically reviews the evidence on the relationship between user charges and health outcomes in LMICs, and explores underlying mechanisms of this relationship.Methods Published studies were identified via electronic medical, public health, health services and economics databases from 1990 to September 2017. We included studies that evaluated the impact of user charges on health in LMICs using randomised control trial (RCT) or quasi-experimental (QE) study designs. Study quality was assessed using Cochrane Risk of Bias and Risk of Bias in Non-Randomized Studies—of Intervention for RCT and QE studies, respectively.Results We identified 17 studies from 12 countries (five upper-middle income countries, five lower-middle income countries and two low-income countries) that met our selection criteria. The findings suggested a modest relationship between reduction in user charges and improvements in health outcomes, but this depended on health outcomes measured, the populations studied, study quality and policy settings. The relationship between reduced user charges and improved health outcomes was more evident in studies focusing on children and lower-income populations. Studies examining infectious disease–related outcomes, chronic disease management and nutritional outcomes were too few to draw meaningful conclusions. Improved access to healthcare as a result of reduction in out-of-pocket expenditure was identified as the possible causal pathway for improved health.Conclusions Reduced user charges were associated with improved health outcomes, particularly for lower-income groups and children in LMICs. Accelerating progress towards universal health coverage through prepayment mechanisms such as taxation and insurance can lead to improved health outcomes
Pacheco Santos LM, Millett C, Rasella D, et al., 2018, The end of Brazil's More Doctors programme? Those in greatest need will be hit hardest, BMJ, Vol: 363, ISSN: 0959-8138
Hone TV, Macinko J, Millett C, 2018, Revisiting Alma-Ata: what is the role of primary health care in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals?, Lancet, Vol: 392, Pages: 1461-1472, ISSN: 0140-6736
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are now steering the global health and development agendas. Notably, the SDGs contain no mention of Primary Health Care (PHC) – reflecting disappointing implementation of Alma-Alta over the past four decades. The recently-published draft Astana declaration (Alma-Ata 2.0) restates the key principles of PHC and renews these as driving forces for achieving the SDGs, emphasizing Universal Health Coverage (UHC). We use accumulating evidence to demonstrate that countries that reorientate their health systems towards primary care are better placed to achieve the SDGs than those with hospital-focused systems or limited investments in health. We then argue that an even bolder approach which fully embraces the Alma-Ata vision of PHC could deliver substantially greater SDG progress – by addressing the wider determinants of health, promoting equity and social justice throughout society, empowering communities, and as a catalyst for advancing and amplifying UHC and synergies among SDGs.
Massuda A, Hone T, Gomes Leles FA, et al., 2018, The Brazilian health system at crossroads: progress, crisis and resilience, BMJ Global Health, Vol: 3, ISSN: 2059-7908
The Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS)) has enabled substantial progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Brazil. However, structural weakness, economic and political crises and austerity policies that have capped public expenditure growth are threatening its sustainability and outcomes. This paper analyses the Brazilian health system progress since 2000 and the current and potential effects of the coalescing economic and political crises and the subsequent austerity policies. We use literature review, policy analysis and secondary data from governmental sources in 2000–2017 to examine changes in political and economic context, health financing, health resources and healthcare service coverage in SUS. We find that, despite a favourable context, which enabled expansion of UHC from 2003 to 2014, structural problems persist in SUS, including gaps in organisation and governance, low public funding and suboptimal resource allocation. Consequently, large regional disparities exist in access to healthcare services and health outcomes, with poorer regions and lower socioeconomic population groups disadvantaged the most. These structural problems and disparities will likely worsen with the austerity measures introduced by the current government, and risk reversing the achievements of SUS in improving population health outcomes. The speed at which adverse effects of the current and political crises are manifested in the Brazilian health system underscores the importance of enhancing health system resilience to counteract external shocks (such as economic and political crises) and internal shocks (such as sector-specific austerity policies and rapid ageing leading to rise in disease burden) to protect hard-achieved progress towards UHC.
Baker P, Hone T, Reeves A, et al., 2018, Does government expenditure reduce inequalities in infant mortality rates in low- and middle-income countries? A time-series, ecological analysis of 48 countries from 1993-2013, Health Economics, Policy and Law, Vol: 14, Pages: 249-273, ISSN: 1744-1331
IntroductionInequalities in infant mortality rates (IMR) are rising in some Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) and falling in others, but the explanation for these divergent trends is unclear. We investigate whether government expenditures and redistribution are associated with reductions in inequalities in IMR.MethodsWe estimated country-level fixed-effects panel regressions for 48 LMICs (142 country-observations). Slope and Relative Indices of Inequality in IMR (SII and RII) were calculated from Demographic and Health Surveys between 1993-2013. RII and SII were regressed on government expenditure (total, health, and non-health) and redistribution, controlling for GDP, private health expenditures, a democracy indicator, country fixed effects, and time.ResultsMean SII and RII was 39.12 and 0.69. In multivariate models, a one percentage-point increase in total government expenditure (% of GDP) was associated with a decrease in SII of -2.468 (95% CIs: -4.190, -0.746) and RII of -0.026 (95% CIs: -0.048, -0.004). Lower inequalities were associated with higher non-health government expenditure, but not higher government health expenditure. Associations with inequalities were nonsignificant for GDP, government redistribution, and private healthexpenditure.DiscussionUnderstanding how non-health government expenditure reduces inequalities in IMR, and why health expenditures may not, will accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
Rasella D, Basu S, Hone TV, et al., 2018, Child morbidity and mortality associated with alternative policy responses to the economic crisis in Brazil: a nationwide microsimulation study, PLoS Medicine, Vol: 15, ISSN: 1549-1277
Background.Since 2015, a major economic crisis in Brazil has led to increasing poverty and the implementation of long-term fiscal austerity measures which will substantially reduce expenditure on social welfare programmes as a percentage of the country's GDP over the next 20 years. The Bolsa Família Programme (BFP) - one of the largest conditional cash transfer programmes in the world - and the nationwide primary healthcare strategy (Estratégia Saúde da Família - ESF) are affected by fiscal austerity, despite being among the policy interventions with the strongest estimated impact on child mortality in the country. We compared how reduced coverage of BFP and ESF, or an alternative scenario where the level of social protection under these programmes is maintained, may affect the under-five mortality rate (U5MR) and socio-economic inequalities in child health in the country until 2030, the end date of the Sustainable Development Goals.Methods and Findings.We developed and validated a microsimulation model, creating a synthetic cohort of all 5,507 Brazilian municipalities for the period 2017-2030. This was based on the longitudinal dataset and effect estimates from a previously published study which evaluated the effects of poverty, BFP, and ESF on child health. We forecast the economic crisis and the effect of reductions in BFP and ESF coverage due to current fiscal austerity on U5MR, and compare with scenarios where these programmes maintain the levels of social protection by increasing or decreasing with the size of Brazil's vulnerable populations. We used fixed effects multivariate regression models including BFP and ESF coverage and accounting for secular trends, demographic and socioeconomic changes, and programme duration effects.With the maintenance of the levels of social protection provided by BFP and ESF, in the most likely economic scenario the U5MR is expected to be 8.57% (CI: 6.88%- 10.24%) lower in 2030 than under fiscal austerity - a cumulative 19,7
Sum G, Hone T, Atun R, et al., 2018, Multimorbidity and out-of-pocket expenditure on medicines: a systematic review, BMJ Global Health, Vol: 3, ISSN: 2059-7908
Background: Multimorbidity, the presence of two or more non-communicable diseases (NCD), is a costly and complex challenge for health systems globally. Patients with NCDs incur high levels of out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE), often on medicines, but the literature on the association between OOPE on medicines and multimorbidity has not been examined systematically. Methods: A systematic review was conducted via searching medical and economics databases including Ovid Medline, EMBASE, EconLit, Cochrane Library and the WHO Global Health Library from year 2000 to 2016. Study quality was assessed using Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. PROSPERO: CRD42016053538. Findings: 14 articles met inclusion criteria. Findings indicated that multimorbidity was associated with higher OOPE on medicines. When number of NCDs increased from 0 to 1, 2 and ≥3, annual OOPE on medicines increased by an average of 2.7 times, 5.2 times and 10.1 times, respectively. When number of NCDs increased from 0 to 1, 2, ≥2 and ≥3, individuals spent a median of 0.36% (IQR 0.15%-0.51%), 1.15% (IQR 0.62%-1.64%), 1.41% (IQR 0.86%-2.15%), 2.42% (IQR 2.05%-2.64%) and 2.63% (IQR 1.56%-4.13%) of mean annual household net adjusted disposable income per capita, respectively, on annual OOPE on medicines. More multimorbidities were associated with higher OOPE on medicines as a proportion of total healthcare expenditures by patients. Some evidence suggested that the elderly and low-income groups were most vulnerable to higher OOPE on medicines. With the same number of NCDs, certain combinations of NCDs yielded higher medicine OOPE. Non-adherence to medicines was a coping strategy for OOPE on medicines. Conclusion: Multimorbidity of NCDs is increasingly costly to healthcare systems and OOPE on medicines can severely compromise financial protection and universal health coverage. It is crucial to recognise the need for better equity and financial protection, and policymakers should consider health system financial optio
Filippidis FT, Laverty AA, Hone T, et al., 2017, Association of cigarette price differentials and infant mortality in 23 European Union countries, JAMA Pediatrics, ISSN: 2168-6203
Importance: Raising the price of cigarettes by increasing taxation has been associated with improved perinatal and child health outcomes. Transnational tobacco companies have sought to undermine tobacco tax policy by adopting pricing strategies which maintain the availability of budget cigarettes.Objective: To assess associations betweenmedian cigarette prices, cigarette price differentials andinfant mortalityacross Europe.Design: Longitudinal ecological study of regions within the European Union. Setting: 23 European countries; 2004 –2014 (data from 276 sub-national regions).Participants: Infant populations in relevant countries.Interventions: Median cigarette prices and the differential between these and minimum cigarette prices were obtained from Euromonitor International.Pricing differentialswere calculated as the proportions(%) obtained by dividing minimum by median cigarette price. Priceswere adjusted for inflation.Main outcome measure: Annual infant mortality rates. Associations were assessed using linear fixed-effect panel regression modelsadjusted for smoke-free policies; Gross Domestic Product; unemployment rate; education; maternal age; and underlining temporal trends.Results: A €1 per pack increase in the median cigarette price was associated with a decline of -0.23 deaths per 1,000 live births in the same year (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: -0.37 to -0.09) and -0.16 per 1,000 live births the following year (95% CI: -0.30 to -0.03). An increase of 10% in the price differential between median and minimum priced cigarettes was associated with an increase of 0.07 deaths per 1,000 live births (95% CI: 0.01 to 0.13) the following year.Cigarette price increasesacross 23 European countries between 2004 and 2014 were associated with 9,208(95% CI: 8,601to 9,814) fewer infant deaths; 3,195(95% CI: 3,017to 3,372)infant deaths could have been avoided had there beenno differential between median and the minimum priced cigarettes during this period. Conclus
Palladino R, Hone T, Filippidis FT, 2017, Changes in support for bans of illicit drugs, tobacco, and alcohol among adolescents and young adults in Europe, 2008–2014, International Journal of Public Health, Vol: 63, Pages: 23-31, ISSN: 0303-8408
Objectives This study assessed the support for bans fortobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs in adolescents and youngadults across the European Union (EU).Methods Data were analysed for the years 2008, 2011, and2014 for 27 EU member states. 37,253 individuals aged15–24 years were interviewed ascertaining their supportfor banning tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, heroin,and ecstasy. Changes over time were assessed using multilevellogistic regression.Results Support for banning heroin, ecstasy, and cocainewas constantly greater than 90%, although support fell overtime. Support for cannabis ban declined (from 67.6% in2008 to 53.7% in 2014) as well as support for alcohol ban(from 8.9% in 2008 to 6.9% in 2014) and tobacco ban(from 17.9% in 2008 to 16.5% in 2014).Conclusions Support for banning substances among EUadolescents and young adults varied, with high support forheroin, cocaine, and ecstasy, but less support for banningcannabis, tobacco, and alcohol. There was reduction insupport of banning all substances between 2008 and 2014,but this varied substantially between European countries.
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