Graca Freitas: photo taken by José Sena Goulão/ Lusa

Portugal’s Director General of Health stands down

Graça Freitas was one of the most ‘high profile’ faces in Portugal during the pandemic

Graça Freitas, the director general of health and one of the most high-profile faces during Portugal’s experience of the pandemic, has “expressed the desire” not to renew her mandate, which comes up for renewal at the end of the year.

For now, there is no replacement for this top job that Ms Freitas has held since 2018, but it is understood the 65-year-old public health specialist will remain at her post until such time that there is.

In the written response to questions put by Lusa news agency,  the health ministry has  thanked “the availability demonstrated by the Director-General of Health at the end of her mandate and all the commitment and dedication in the leadership of the Directorate-General of Health over the last few years, especially in the response to the pandemic, the biggest global public health crisis of the last century”.

The appointment of the future holder of the post “will follow the legal procedure, in compliance with the rules for recruitment, selection and filling of senior management positions in Public Administration”, the ministry continued, adding: “The choice will naturally be made within a profile that fits into the framework of the DGS’s competences, where the responsibilities of the National Health Authority in responding to health and public health emergencies have always been present”.

Graça Freitas was never far from the nation’s television screens during the bulk of her time in office, albeit recent months have seen very little of her.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com