One of the many changes being rung in by the new Socialist government is the return of free medical care for blood donors. Donor exemption from hospital charges was withdrawn by the centre-right government in the name of austerity four years ago. Health minister Adalberto Campos Fernandes announced the return to the policy of rewarding donors for their support during a hospital visit in Coimbra just before Christmas.
Diário de Notícias carried the news, adding that hospital charges generally have already been reduced by the new government as well as the payment of any charges by people referred to hospital by the Linha de Saúde 24 helpline, or by health centres in an emergency.
The new blood donor exemption will cover 126,000 people, adds DN.