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Doctors who “abandon Portugal’s interior risk 3-year expulsion from SNS health service”

Government proposals designed to lure and retain doctors to the country’s neediest ‘interior regions’ (which include the Algarve) are causing controversy today as it has been revealed they come with a sting in their tail.

According to reports, doctors who break their contracts could be barred from working for the SNS (national health) service for three years.

Says RTP, it is one of the proposals that will be going to the Council of Ministers – though no news source appears to know when.

The issue centres on a new raft of incentives to try and get young doctors training in hospitals in the Algarve, Alentejo, centre interior and islands.

Packages will involve cash and holiday perks but only if doctors remain at the hospitals of their choice for a term of three years once they have become qualified.

If they decide somewhere along the line that the grass could be greener elsewhere, the SNS ban would come into effect.

Doctors’ association Ordem dos Médicos is against the idea, saying if anything it will force more medics into private practice, and/ or encourage further emigration.

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