Marcelo “awaits response or silence” from government
Archive image of President Marcelo: Rodrigo Antunes/ Lusa

Marcelo “awaits response or silence” from government

… wants questions on new health service executive answered

President Marcelo returns to Portugal today from Angola and is expected to ‘rubber stamp’ the government’s ‘fundamental’ new diploma which it says will lead to a necessary reorganisation of the country’s teetering health service.

But that isn’t the full story.

The full story is that Marcelo has serious doubts about the government’s masterplan, and has sent various questions ahead of promulgating the diploma, which appear still not to have been answered.

In Angola for the investiture of re-elected president João Lourenço, he said yesterday: “I confess that a series of specific doubts (four or five) were sent to the government on aspects that have to do with this new diploma… Let’s see if the reply arrives or doesn’t; what it is and if silence or an answer are enough to limit or delay that which we all want to see – which is the promulgation of the regulations for the (new) national health service (SNS) statute”.

The concerns of the head of State lie in whether (or not) the proposed health service executive will really have autonomy in management from the ‘day-to-day moods of the government’.

What is needed, he explains, is not a new minister, or person in charge, but a whole new approach.

As he explained, the solution should be such that the prime minister is not “called to be minister of goodness knows how many areas at the same time”.

Thus everything still appears to be very much ‘up in the air’. The health professional tipped to lead the new SNS executive is continuing to stay schtum UNTIL the president promulgates the diploma,  and those answers he is expecting did not appear to have come through by the end of yesterday.

Later this evening, Marcelo is due to ‘swear in’ three new secretaries of state, proposed by the prime minister – two of them for the Ministry of Health – and he has said that only once these new positions are filled will he (finally) name the man who will be charged with ‘resuscitating’ the SNS health service.

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