Hospitalizations for primary care-sensitive conditions in Pelotas, Brazil: 1998 to 2012

<p></p><p>ABSTRACT: Objective: To verify the hospitalization trend for primary care sensitive-conditions in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil from 1998 to 2012. Methods: An ecological study compared hospitalizations rates of the city of Pelotas with the rest of state of Rio Grande do Sul. Analysis was conducted using direct standardization of rates, coefficients were stratified by sex and the Poisson regression was used. Results: Hospitalizations for sensitive conditions decreased in Pelotas and Rio Grande do Sul. In Pelotas, a 63.8% decrease was detected in the period observed, and there was a 43.1% decrease in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Poisson regression coefficients showed a decrease of 7% in Pelotas and of 4% in the rest of Rio Grande do Sul each year. Conclusion: During the study period, several changes were introduced in the Brazilian Unified Health System (“Sistema Único de Saúde”) that may have influenced the results, including changes in administration, health funding, and a complete reworking of primary care through the creation of the Family Health Strategy program (“Estratégia Saúde da Família”).</p><p></p>