Health service prepares for flu season

Health service prepares for flu season

Portugal’s National Health Service (SNS) has announced that plans are in place to prepare for the new flu season, although “so far so good”.
Graça Freitas of the DGS health board says it is still “early days” but moves are in the pipeline to guarantee more consultation hours, beds and health professionals in hospitals and health centres should the need arise.
“Flu seasons are unpredictable,” Dr Maria Alice from Luzdoc confirmed in one of her regular articles in the Resident.
According to Dr Alice, the most effective way to keep the flu at bay is vaccination, while the frequent washing of hands is also “extremely important” and “the most relevant preventive measure besides vaccination”.
Vaccines are provided for free for people over the age of 65, but can also be purchased at pharmacies and SNS units for around €3.
Meantime, the DGS asks anyone with flu symptoms to call the national health line Linha Saúde 24 (808 24 24 24, standard landline rates apply) before going to a health centre.