“The problem is not with person A, person B, or person C, or even with one government, this one or another. The underlying problem is structural, it does not belong to a government,” said the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on Monday, calling for an “overall vision” for Health.
Marcelo warned that “putting out specific sectoral fires” could lead to the substantive issue being “pushed with the belly forward”, stressing, when asked whether the Minister of Health, Marta Temido, would be able to continue, that “the problem It’s not person A, person B, or person C.”
“The underlying problem is structural (…) If you want, it’s a little bit of having different policies between governments, this requires a certain stability of policies”the President told journalists, on the sidelines of the conference “Ten years of the Public Finance Council”, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in Lisbon.
Marcelo recalled that the Government has not been in office for even three months and defended that, at a time when the covid-19 pandemic is being resolved, it is time to “take stock of the [Serviço Nacional de Saúde] SNS” and, “in an overall view”, “rethink it”, assess which means and define what is a priority.
“Another way is: let’s put out the fires, one fire goes out this week, in 15 days another fire goes out. The big problem with this is that it ends up putting out specific sectoral fires, and the underlying issue is being pushed forward with the belly forward ”, he said, quoted by the agency. Lusa.
The head of state divided the health problems into “very urgent” – in which he included the recent failures in emergency and obstetrics services -, “urgent ones”, such as preparation for the summer, and “structural ones”, which require substantive answers, in terms of investment, management and resources.
“This overall vision is good for society to have to answer questions such as: are the professionals we have enough or are they not, in general? Are there areas where they are and others where they are not? There are management problemsthat is, are the resources sufficient, but managed unevenly?”, he listed.
For the head of state, these questions must be answered “with an overall perspective” so as not to run the risk of “patching on one side, and then on the other, and then on the other”.
“At the end of the pandemic, this is the time to look at the whole and see which problems are truly fundamental”, he defended.
The President also considered that the SNS has “faced pressures that it had never faced”, in a “older” society and “very different from the young society of the time when the SNS was born”.
“There are new challenges and in the face of new challenges, readjusting the SNS means rethinking it as a whole”, he considered, pointing out that the Recovery and Resilience Plan and the package of community funds allow, until 2027, “some slack” for investments in health. “The question is to know what is really essential to do”, he pointed out.