The Minister of Health, Manuel Pizarro, this Monday appointed Andre Peralta Santos, a physician of public health, as Deputy Director General of Health, on a replacement basis.
Andre Peralta Santos worked at the Directorate General of Health as coordinator of the PaRIS project – an international study on outcomes and experiences of health service users. He holds a master’s degree in public health from Universidad Nova de Lisbon and a doctorate in global health from the University of Washington.
“The new Deputy Director-General for Health is an adjunct adjunct professor at the National School of Public Health, where he teaches in the areas of epidemiology and data science, and advances research on infectious disease consequences that may lead to epidemics or pandemics, both in health systems as well as in population health.” The Department of Health offers, in a statement sent to newsrooms.
The public health doctor, who takes office on Tuesday, replaces Roy Portugal, who resigned as deputy director-general last week, without giving a reason.
An “urgent” competition is currently underway to find the new Director General of Health, after Graça Freitas chose not to renew her term that ended last December. At the time, the 65-year-old doctor informed Manuel Pizarro of her intention to leave the position to retire, rejecting another five years at the head of the DGD. They then came to an agreement that he would remain at the helm of the organization until a replacement was found.
But the tender for its replacement is long overdue and has taken five months to open. Indeed, it only became urgent when Roy Portugal, the only candidate for the post of Public Health Doctor, resigned, forcing Graça Freitas to interrupt her vacation (which she intended to keep until her retirement) and return to the Directorate General of Democracy (DGS) so that the Foundation would have no president.
Rui Portugal has been deputy director since August 2020 and even took over the management of DGS during the pandemic, while Graça Freitas was in isolation. He even assumed four months ago that he was ready to run for Director-General of Health: “I’m all set to apply to Cresap [Comissão de Recrutamento e Selecção para a Administração Pública]. “
“I have a curriculum and local, regional, national and international experience that allows me. I have the privilege, because of the family I have, to practically travel the national territory. I know the country,” he said in an interview, with PÚBLICO, in February. “I think I can make a very significant contribution, both in the rhetoric and in the agenda.”
The Directorate General for Food Security now has only one Deputy Director General after Ricardo Meester left, in September last year, to fulfill his duties as Secretary of State for Health. And it has not been replaced.
The competition for the position of Director General of Health was opened on Monday by Cresap and the deadline for Submission of nominations Ten working days.
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