This work aims discussing the economic performance of Portuguese regional health administrations after leaving the bailout program (May 2014) established by the European Union, EU and International Monetary Fund, IMF in 2011. Three economic variables (incomes, expenses and matured debt) are analysed during twenty five months based on analysis of variance ANOVA and multivariate hierarchic cluster, HCA and discriminant analysis, LDA. The variables incomes and expenses show stable trends over the period with ANOVA results pointing to separation in four groups at the 5% level. A different trend is observed on the variable of matured debt to suppliers that suffered strong reduction during the bailout period but presents now tendency to increase in two of the four non-equivalent groups identified in the ANOVA and subsequently confirmed by LDA where the variable becomes significant for classification. Clear distinction between health regions was attained through LDA either by considering a pre classification in three or four groups with several regions becoming aggregated. The distinct pattern observed in the high matured debt to suppliers in the region of Lisboa points to inefficient performance and adjustment is suggested with transferability of good practices namely those of the Norte region that presents incomes and expenses similar to those of Lisboa but much lower matured debt. Threatening tendency towards increasing debt is observed among the Portuguese National Health System contrasting with the reduction effort done during the adjustment program in detach from the Irish or Spanish adjustments and resemblance with the less efficient Greek adjustment.
Ricardo Brito Barros, Universidade Europeia, Portugal