High Commission for Health now in place

PORTUGAL NOW has a High Commission for Health to manage the objectives of the Plano Nacional de Saúde (PNS), the national health plans – a management function that was previously the responsibility of the Direcção-Geral da Saúde, the national health service administration.

The new commission will, however, be presided over by the director-general of the health service, who will be giving a special focus to the co-ordination of programmes that the government views as priorities. Among them are the national programme for the prevention and control of cardiovascular illnesses, cancer, the prevention of HIV/AIDS, and the health of the elderly and of dependants. In theory, the Ministry for Health believes that, by creating this commission, the conditions have been established to assure the accomplishment of the plans laid out in the PNS, signifying an intensification in actions taken in order for the country’s health service objectives to be reached.

In the first phase, Portugal’s health professionals will be the recipients of various campaigns and the co-ordinators of the key government programmes have already been chosen. Fernando Leal Costa (oncology), Ricardo Seabra Gomes (cardiology), Henrique Barros (AIDS) and Inês Guerreiro (the aged and dependants).