Give health to Lisbon

Carlos Moedas managed to implement one of the most important initiatives for Lisbon: a Health Plan for the elderly in the capital, fully supported by the municipality, filling the gaps in the National Health Service, providing primary health care that is lacking to so many and that is so important. are, especially for this population.

About 130,000 elderly people (over 65 years old) live in Lisbon, corresponding to about a quarter of the resident population. Taking care of Lisbon has to be taking care of its elderly population.

In Portugal, about one and a half million people do not have a family doctor guaranteed by the SNS. Of these, about one million are in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region. In the city of Lisbon, around 25% of the population does not have access to a family doctor. Gone are the days when the prime minister promised that all Portuguese would have a family doctor (but it wasn’t long ago, it was in 2017).

The provision of primary health care in the city of Lisbon is miserable. There are no family doctors, health centers are, as a rule, in very poor conditions and the promised (for 2021) 14 new health centers have not been implemented.

In this scenario, governing Lisbon has to mean taking care of those who need health care the most – the elderly.

Carlos Moedas promised in his electoral program to create a Health Plan for those over 65 years old. Just a year after taking office, he fulfilled his commitment. In this way, 130 thousand Lisboners will have access to primary health care.

The Lisboa 65+ Health Plan is free, works 24 hours a day, guarantees access to a teleconsultation or, where appropriate, to a doctor at home, as well as the delivery of medicines at home.

The plan also covers around 5,000 beneficiaries of the Solidarity Supplement for the elderly, for whom free access to optometry consultations and glasses, as well as dental prostheses and oral hygiene, services that are not covered by the National Health Service.

Access to this health plan is simple, just registering at a pharmacy and it starts operating in January.

This health plan, under the responsibility of the Lisbon City Council, provides for the signing of protocols with the Regional Health Administration of Lisbon and Tagus Valley, with Social Security, with the National Association of Pharmacies, with the Faculty of Dental Medicine of University of Lisbon, with the Social Services of the Lisbon Chamber, and with the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa.

This is an investment of around 1.5 million euros per year. Certainly the best money spent in Lisbon.

The responsibility for access to health care rests with the State. However, especially in Lisbon, the state has failed. Lisbon City Council had one of two paths: either it pointed out the shortcomings and complained or it tried to solve the problem. The mayor opted, and rightly, for the latter.

It is not a question of weakening the National Health Service, but rather of responding to its shortcomings with a service that does not replace but complements the SNS.

Could you offer more services? Yes, but it is a very important step to allow access to primary health care for the elderly in Lisbon. The State needs to fulfill its part.

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