State spending on clinical analysis to fall to 136 ME in 2022

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State spending on clinical analysis fell in 2022, totaling 136 million euros, 57% less than the previous year and the lowest figure since 2019, the pre-pandemic year, reveals a study by the Health Regulatory Authority (ERS).

According to the “Monitoring Information for the Clinical Analysis Sector” released today, in the first half of 2023, requests already represented 32% of the annual total for 2022.

The health regulator states that “laboratory tests are the complementary means of diagnosis most frequently prescribed and carried out by users, and constitute the second largest expense of the National Health Service (SNS)”.

As for the supply available in mainland Portugal, the ERS said that in October 2023 there were 3,381 registered establishments in the area of clinical analysis and clinical pathology (251 laboratories and 3,130 collection points, 34 of which are mobile units), which represents an increase of 8.9% compared to September 2015 and 0.4% compared to 2022.

Analyzing the provision of clinical analysis services, specifically diagnostic laboratory tests, and taking into account only the offer of the sector contracted with the SNS, the ERS said that 136 million euros were spent in 2022, 32 million less than in 2019 and 78 million less than in 2021.

“As for the distribution of the total burden among the five health regions in 2022, it was found that the Lisbon and Tagus Valley health region and the Northern health region have the highest percentages – 45% and 36%, respectively – and the Alentejo and Algarve health regions have the lowest percentages – 2% and 5%, respectively – a conclusion that is to be expected given the number of inhabitants in these health regions,” the document states.

The ERS also found that the costs of the contracted sector in mainland Portugal showed a negative variation between 2020 and 2022, with the reduction being more significant between 2021 and 2022 (36.5%), as opposed to “the significant increase” seen between 2019 and 2020 (41.5%), associated with the covid-19 pandemic.

The costs per 1,000 inhabitants in mainland Portugal totaled 13,834 euros in 2022, the regulator said, noting that between 2021 and 2022, spending on clinical analysis fell by 7,961 euros per 1,000 inhabitants, 3,271 euros less when comparing 2019 and 2022.

In the first six months of the year, charges per 1,000 inhabitants amounted to 12,423 euros, falling short of the ratio observed at the end of the full year 2022, with the Algarve health region having the highest figure.

Regarding the ratio of acts accepted per 1,000 inhabitants, the study indicates that 6,518 were performed in 2022, an increase of 10.5% compared to last year and 51.3% compared to 2020.

At regional level, the Centro health region stands out with the highest ratio of acts accepted, corresponding to 7,824 per 1,000 inhabitants.

In the first half of 2023, 3,305 acts per 1,000 inhabitants were accepted in mainland Portugal, with the health regions of Centro and Algarve showing the highest figures, above the national figure, similar to the full year of 2022, says the study, adding that 97% of establishments (excluding mobile units) in the private sector at that time had an agreement with the SNS in the area of Clinical Analysis.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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