Public workers must contribute to their ‘own’ health system

ADSE, the special and privileged health system for public sector workers in Portugal, was recently supported by the Minister of Health, Paulo Macedo, who believes that its continuation is important but only if it stays viable through contributions from public servants and not from the Portuguese taxpayer.

The minister admitted that ADSE works like “insurance” and that he wants it to be “self-sustaining” with uniform pricing such as the National Health Service (SNS).

He stressed that medicine is much more accessible now and that the financing model of the health system is also here to stay. “We will maintain this connection between taxes and health expenses,” he said.

When questioned about whether higher user fees (taxas moderadoras) would deter patients from the health services, Macedo said there is no conclusion to this end.

He believes that the number of patients for each doctor should be looked into and that more health centres should be opened. The 49-year-old minister added that the government intends to open about 20 in the next two-and-a-half years.

Public sector workers fear the end of the ADSE, however the Minister of Health has denied that this is the case but that the system is to undergo a major reform to ensure its sustainability.