The objective of this text is to discuss the relevance of the production and use of cost information from the Brazilian Public Health System (SUS), as an input for decision making processes on its financing and management. Technical-scientific literature on the subject is considered to present concepts and discuss methodological questions involving the costing and health cost management. The relevance of cost information to the SUS is discussed under two aspects: financing and management of the system, dealing with two perspectives for the use of information, that of the system managers at the three government spheres and that of the health units' managers. International experiences on the production and use of cost information are presented to illustrate some possibilities that may be considered for the Brazilian case, as well as national experiences developed by hospitals and federal government agencies. Finally, some recommendations for the systematic production and use of cost information in SUS are presented as initial reflections and subsidies for the formulation of a national policy on the subject.
cost accounting health cost management health expenditure public administration Unified Health System