University students at Villa Real will have easy access to family medicine, nursing and smoking cessation consultations, under a protocol signed between the university and the group of health centers.
The protocol was signed by UTAD and the Marão Douro Norte Health Centers Consortium (ACES) and, according to the dean, allows students to have access to “completely accessible and structured” health care, reinforcing the work the Academy is already doing in the field. of social work.
About eight thousand students study at UTAD, 70% of whom are displaced. To these are added about a thousand employees (professors and non-professors) and their families, totaling about 15 thousand people. This academic year, nearly 1,600 new students entered the first cycle at UTAD, as well as 1,100 students at both the master’s and doctoral degrees.
The protocol provides, for example, 50 monthly consultations in the field of family medicine and nursing, as well as access to smoking cessation counseling and covers national and foreign students studying at the Trás-os-Montes Academy.
“This protocol essentially translates into two aspects. First, in the methodology of what is the access to health services by UTAD students, who until now have had very dispersed access throughout our units,” said Gabriel Martins, ACES Douro Norte Executive Director. This link will allow the creation of a database that will allow to know the “real health needs of this student community” and to make a health diagnosis that will then be reflected in the local health plan.
On the other hand, it will also make it possible “to organize a set of actions in the context of school health, which hitherto was very powerful at other levels of education, but which were, in a way, precise”. ACES, through its Community Care Units, will have a UTAD intervention team.
In practice, Gabriel Martins explained, if a student falls ill, “they will have a reference health unit and specialist referrals they can call.” “If you are a student with a special health need, you will also have a reference specialist you can refer to, for example, to clarify issues related to that need,” he stressed.
This protocol is “essential,” said Maria Ferreira, president of the UTAD Academic Association (AAUTAD). “We are a student community with more than 70% of displaced students, we have students from far away who spend the whole week here and now know, where they can go to solve their health issues, is an asset and what they lack, in fact, here at UTAD,” he stressed.
The academic director said she too has been through this, not knowing where to go and having to go to the hospital. In recent months, there has been talk of creating a medical course at Vila Real, in collaboration between UTAD and the Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro Hospital Center (CHTMAD).
“Obviously we are working in a calm and professional manner but also convinced, we can also show that we have everything, everything, to contribute to quality training in the medical sector in Portugal in a timely manner, calmly and with the necessary care and rigor that the situation imposes,” he said. Emídio Gomes.
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