The National Health Convention (CNS) issued the terms of reference for the next legislature (2022/2026) with what it considers to be the main concerns of the Portuguese people in relation to health.
The CNS recommends the creation of an “independent entity with the technical skills to assess the epidemic control in Portugal,” as can be read in the document sent to newsrooms, and wants greater clarity on private health.
According to the National Health Agreement, the next government should establish this entity “to assess the impact of measures taken to control the epidemic, the consequences for citizens’ access to health care, the degree of readiness of the system to respond to the needs of the population and the follow-up provided to citizens who are infected or who are still infected with the virus.”
The CNS specification contains aspects of SNS that have been at the forefront of “campaign” and “debating” concerns.
The agreement considers that the social security system needs to enhance interdependence with the various factors of the health system (public, private and social) in order to respond to the growing needs raised by the pandemic: “The national health system must include efforts in the public, private and social sectors.”
It is also necessary to restore queues. For this, the Extraordinary Queue Recovery Plan should be launched. During the pandemic, many consultations, surgeries, and complementary diagnostics are delayed, it is important that the “delay cycle is broken,” says CNS. “Portugal must assume the commitment/objective of making an extraordinary effort so that, by the end of 2022, all activities that have been suspended or postponed until this point are restored.”
PRR should promote transformation
“Fair and timely access of citizens to health care” is another concern that the National Security Council underscores: Portugal must ensure the sustainability of the national health system. Prevention of chronic disease and mental health problems, “two of the main reasons for general and family medicine consultations,” deserves due attention and more investment in preventative measures. “It is essential to develop social and emotional knowledge and skills for healthy choices from the beginning of the life cycle and to sustainably increase health literacy,” says CNS.
The PRR is also mentioned in the specification, and CNS recommends investing in funds to advance a “major digital transformation” in order to ensure “effective and proximate responses that promote better access in people’s lives.”
This effort must be undertaken in tandem with the EU countries, and among the recommendations is also to “effectively promote public investment in health, bringing it closer to the average value of the EU countries”. Only in this way, says the central nervous system, will the state be able to respond to the needs of the Portuguese. To this end, “the state should operate with multi-year budgets, establish public-private and social partnerships and invest in innovation.”
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