Health minister announces cut in hospital charges for 2016

Portugal’s new health minister Adalberto Campos Fernandes has announced that hospital charges will be reduced from 2016, with patients referenced by the country’s 24-hour helpline, or already undergoing health treatment, to be made exempt from charges altogether. Taxas moderadoras, as they are called here, were not conceived to punish people, he stressed. The revised charges will “seek to construct” a service more geared to patients’ interests, he added stressing that the country’s Linha 24 helpline is being groomed to become the “first point of contact between citizens who need urgent health care and health services”.