While the estimate of hospital costs concerns the past, its planning
focus on the future. However, many public hospitals in low and
middle-income countries don’t have robust accounting health systems to
evaluate and project their expenses. In Brazil, public hospitals are
funded based on government estimates of available hospital
infrastructure, historical expenditures and population needs. However,
these pieces of information are not always readily available for all
hospitals. To solve this challenge, we propose a flexible
simulation-based optimisation algorithm that integrates this dual task:
estimating and planning hospital costs. The method was applied to a
network of 17 public hospitals in Brazil to produce the estimates.
Setting the model parameters for population needs and future hospital
infrastructure can be used as a cost-projection tool for divestment,
maintenance, or investment. Results show that the method can aid health
managers in hospitals’ global budgeting and policymakers in improving
fairness in hospitals’ financing.