Government wants to study impact of migrants on NHS sustainability


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The government will invite universities to study the impact of migrants on the sustainability of the National Health Service, the Minister of Health announced today.

At the opening of the Sustainability in Health Conference, taking place at the Belém Cultural Center in Lisbon, Ana Paula Martins explained that this work will serve to plan the system for “a wave of migrants” that was not expected.

At the conference, where the Sustainable Health Index, drawn up by Nova IMS, will be presented, the minister acknowledged that “the most difficult and complex thing” will be to get health professionals to want to stay in the SNS and advocated a “change in the organization of the teams’ work”.

She said that the SNS needs to change, a change that must be made in an “intelligent and participatory” way.

“We will only be sustainable if we survive,” said Ana Paula Martins.

At the same session, Adalberto Campos Fernandes, who was Health Minister in António Costa’s government, defended a broad political commitment in the area of health, pointing out that the country has to prepare for an “impressive demographic change” with “more than 10% of residents being non-nationals”.

“People are coming to health services in very difficult situations,” he said.

Eurico Castro Alves, who coordinated the team that drew up the Health Emergency Plan presented last week by the government, also advocated changes in regulations to give greater flexibility to the organization of work in the health sector.

“There are more and more health professionals who don’t want to work in the same places for the same hours,” he said.

In an opinion piece published in the Jornal de Notícias today, the doctor defends dual employment, putting an end to the “undignified and ridiculous situation of taxing overtime at 50%”.

“There are cases where a health professional finishes their working hours and doesn’t feel motivated to work overtime in their own hospital, because they know that if they work six hours, they’ll only be paid for three. Why not allow them to remain working in your hospital through your sole proprietorship? Why not allow the rate to be reduced from 50% to 20% after a certain number of hours?” he asks.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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