€366 million plan for family health units – Sociedade

The Minister of Health, Manuel Pizarro, stressed this Friday the Government’s commitment to “caring and generalizing” primary health care, arguing that the path must go through better organization, more professionals and better conditions. The objective is to ensure that “every Portuguese person has the right to a family health team”.The minister admitted that it is necessary, in particular, to solve the problem of “the omnipresence of bureaucracy” and of computer and material failures. He also defended that it is necessary to find “an agile way” to replace professionals. Regarding facilities and equipment, he recalled that the Recovery and Resilience Plan provides for an amount of 366 million euros for the construction of 100 new USFs and for the remodeling of another 150.
At the 13th National Meeting of Family Health Units, in Braga, a study by the National Association of USF was released, denouncing the “lack of priority” given to primary health care. The association’s president, André Biscaia, points out as the main complaints of professionals the size of the lists of users, computer failures and basic material. He also said that there must be incentives for the establishment of professionals in areas such as Lisbon or Algarve.

Decision in a few months

The Minister of Health, Manuel Pizarro, said this Friday that decisions on the eventual closure of maternity hospitals will be announced “in a few months” and will have “all technical support”.

“We received a preliminary report that requires a careful visit to each institution, a dialogue with the professionals, a dialogue with the institutions, from the beginning with the Order of Doctors. We are in preliminary work and in a few months we will announce the decisions”, said the minister, on the sidelines of the 13th National Meeting of the USF, in Braga. Manuel Pizarro added that there is still a way to go, such as visits to institutions and dialogue with professionals and underlined that decisions must have “all technical support”. “I want to make sure that the decisions I make have all the technical support and I won’t make any without that happening,” he said. Manuel Pizarro reiterated that his focus is to ensure predictability in the functioning of the maternal and child health system.

Doctors warn of long journeys and uncertainty

“I have doubts that in peripheral regions, such as Covilhã, it is beneficial to close the maternity hospital. It’s one thing to concentrate services in Lisbon and Porto, another is to put pregnant women in a position where they have to do a lot of kilometers”, he told the newspaper this Friday. CMTV the Chairman of the Doctors, who wants to see the situation clarified “quickly”. “We can’t wait until January,” said Miguel Guimarães. The lack of definition makes pregnant women “uneasy”.

Politicians in defense of motherhood in Barreio

The mayors of Moita, Alcochete, Barreiro and Montijo asked for an audience with the Minister of Health, Manuel Pizarro, to express the importance for the populations of the existence of a maternity hospital in Barreiro, one of those indicated for closure in the report of the Response Monitoring Commission in Obstetrics-Gynecology Urgency and Delivery Block.

Association for Women’s Rights appeals to the Government

The Portuguese Association for the Rights of Women in Pregnancy and Childbirth wrote an open letter to the Government warning of the consequences of closing maternity hospitals, such as the overload of places that persist and the deepening of “socioeconomic asymmetries”. The association says that it was “with concern” that it learned of the proposal to close the Obstetrics and Gynecology Emergency Service of several hospitals in the country.


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