Hospitals may be defined as health establishments that provide differentiated services, equipped with hospitalization capacity, outpatient care with regular and emergency consultations, as well as diagnostic and therapeutic means, in order to provide curative and rehabilitation medical care to the population. They are also responsible for helping in preventing diseases, education and scientific research. The criteria for the classification of hospitals fit in various approaches, such as: area of influence and technical differentiation; prioritization of health care levels; number of specialties; ownership; presence of university education, and other ones¹.
Rio Grande do Sul, 7th place in the ranking of states in number of hospitals, had, in 2017, 345 hospital facilities distributed throughout 253 of the 497 municipalities. In 2017 there were 20 Specialized Hospitals, 314 General Hospitals and 11 Hospitals Day, according to DATASUS - Cadastro Nacional de Estabelecimentos de Saúde (National Registry of Health Establishments).
Hospital facilities are concentrated in the more populous municipalities. In 2017, Porto Alegre concentrated 32 establishments, followed by Caxias do Sul and Passo Fundo with 8 and Pelotas with 7. Regarding the COREDEs, Metropolitano Delta do Jacuí had the highest concentration with 41 hospitals, followed by COREDEs Sul, Serra and Vale do Rio dos Sinos.
The supply of beds is one of the parameters of hospital coverage that is part of the Program of Basic Health Actions of the Ministry of Health. The recommended number is 3 to 4 beds/1,000 inhabitants². The latest data released regarding Brazilian states places RS among those with the highest coverage: 2.8 beds/1,000 inhabitants in 2012 (DATASUS/CNES).
As for the distribution of hospital beds, COREDE Metropolitano Delta do Jacuí, where about 22% of the State's population live, is the one with the highest number of beds, with approximately 25% of the state total. COREDEs Sul, Serra and Vale do Rio dos Sinos follow in sequence.
Among the municipalities, Porto Alegre has the highest number of beds with 8,132, followed by Caxias do Sul and Pelotas. Approximately 69% out of the total of hospital beds in Rio Grande do Sul correspond to beds of SUS – Sistema Único de Saúde (Unified Health System).
¹In: Portal de Codificação e dos GDH: http://portalcodgdh.min-saude.pt/
² In: MINISTÉRIO DA SAÚDE/SECRETARIA DE POLÍTICAS DE SAÚDE/DEPARTAMENTO DE ATENÇÃO BÁSICA. Parâmetros para Programação das Ações Básicas de Saúde, fevereiro 2001. 37p.