Minister of Health argues that “the biggest challenge” of the SNS is to attract and link professionals

There are “very few†indicators available on “what our patients feel when they access our healthcare†, considers the minister responsible for it, Ana Paula Martins, who highlighted this morning the importance of measuring results in this sector. The person responsible, who participated in the presentation session of the Sustainable Health Index, argues, however, that “the biggest challenge [do SNS] It is, without a doubt, being able to motivate, capture, attract and link human resources”.

From the government’s perspective, increasing the attractiveness of the profession for doctors, nurses and other professionals will allow it to address other problems that have already been diagnosed and that the new Emergency and Transformation Plan in Health intends to resolve – “ among them, the number of users with maximum waiting times exceeded, particularly in oncology. “Not the [utentes] we can leave without access to healthcare. We have to find ways to do this,” he also said, referring to collaboration with the social and private sectors.

Eurico Castro Alves (former Secretary of State for Health), Adalberto Campos Fernandes (former Minister of Health) and Pedro Simões Coelho (Nova IMS) participated in the analysis of the study results, in a conversation moderated by Paulo Baldaia

Matilde Fieschi

The presentation of the annual Sustainable Health Index study took place this morning at the Centro Cultural de Belém, in Lisbon, and was also attended by the President of the Republic who made a point of highlighting the “recognized quality, the trust created and maintained and sustained†of the Portuguese in relation to the SNS. The document, which is the result of a partnership between AbbVie and Nova IMS, shows that it is the quality of healthcare professionals and the information they provide that gives the majority of users of the public system the idea of ​​effectiveness of the care provided. “The SNS is, for society in general, a reference of security and trust,†highlighted Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who recalled, however, the importance of introducing improvements to the system. “There is a way to go in terms of sustainability,†he pointed out.

Discover the main conclusions of the Sustainability in Health conference:

More expense, less productivity

  • Pedro Simões Coelho, professor at Nova IMS and coordinator of the study, highlighted the increase of “around 7%†in the level of SNS expenditure between 2022 and 2023, while activity grew by just over 1%. “Since 2018, we have had a drop in productivity,†he pointed out. On the other hand, the deficit fell by 59% in the same period.

Participants in the debate on innovation (from left to right) were João Almeida Lopes (Apifarma), Rui Santos Ivo (Infarmed) and Elsa Frazão Mateus (EUPATI)

Matilde Fieschi

  • The numbers help to justify that, with the exception of the years directly impacted by the pandemic, 2023 registered “the lowest value ever†in the study that has been presented since 2014. The reference value (100) fell, in this latest edition, to 84.8 points.
  • Adalberto Campos Fernandes says it is necessary to “learn from what [o país] has done good and bad in the past” to address the current challenges facing the NHS and recognized the importance of implementing an urgent response to these problems. “It’s true that the SNS really needs an emergency plan and it’s not for political-partisan reasons,†he stressed, remembering that the current government “has a lot of work ahead of it†.
  • Eurico Castro Alves, former Secretary of State for Health and one of those responsible for the emergency plan drawn up by the government, considers that “we continue to have a problem of access” to healthcare in Portugal that needs to be resolved quickly. More than increasing funding, he advocates better resource management and more creativity “in the sense of inventing resourcesâ€.

Lucie Perrin, general director of AbbVie, argued that “clinical trials are the perfect opportunity to attract investment and innovation to Portugal”

Matilde Fieschi

  • For the two experts, it is essential to change the functioning of emergencies, which are highlighted by users as one of the main weaknesses of the SNS. This change can be made, they argue, through investment in type C family health units (USF C). “It is necessary to alleviate this crazy pressure on differentiated hospitals,†says Campos Fernandes.

There is work to do in clinical trials

  • This year, the Sustainable Health Index added an analysis of clinical trials in Portugal and the perception that the population has about these forms of research. “The global perception is positive. Three quarters of these individuals have a positive outlook,†points out Pedro Simões Coelho.
  • However, it is necessary to increase the number of these tests in Portugal, which continues to be, on the international scene, uncompetitive due to the delay in evaluating authorization requests. Rui Santos Ivo, president of Infarmed, says that the institution needs more resources and budget to be able to provide a better response and, consequently, guarantee better access for patients to innovative medicines. “Should we reduce deadlines? Surely so, he considered.
  • The position deserves agreement from João Almeida Lopes, president of Apifarma, and Elsa Frazão Mateus, president of EUPATI, who consider it essential to give Infarmed more autonomy so that innovation can arrive more quickly to patients. “We cannot agree more with Dr Rui Ivo when he says he wanted to have autonomy and a budget,†insisted Almeida Lopes.
  • According to the study, only 18.4% of respondents say they are not available to participate in clinical trials, as opposed to 28% of people.

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Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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