“Technically good, but socially bad”. Abortions and STIs removed from family physicians’ assessment

After the rain of criticism, the working group for the reform of primary health care removed the number of voluntary abortions and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among users from the new proposal to assess family doctors.

“There are indicators technically good but socially bad and these were such cases.” explain to Expresso the coordinator of the Commission for the reform of primary health care, João Rodrigues.

The new proposal for the evaluation of health professionals from the Model B Family Health Units was highly criticized. The National Commission of General and Family Medicine of the National Federation of Physicians (FNAM) even made a presentation to the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality, considering that the measure would be discriminatory towards womensince it did not make reference to the masculine users.

The initial proposal foresaw that voluntary terminations of pregnancy and STIs were criteria to be taken into account in the evaluation of clinicians, which would affect their salaries due to a pay-for-performance add-on. Thus, the fewer voluntary abortions and fewer cases of STIs their clients had, the greater their gains.

João Rodrigues argues that the indicators in question “are good but not for today”. “Maybe ten years from now”as the Express says.

“If they are not 2022 criteria, will likely be indicators for 2032“, reinforces the coordinator at TSF.

“We must have the humility to recognize that, socially, we are not ready to have these indicators”, he adds.

The Minister of Health, Marta Temidodenied, in Parliament, that the evaluation proposal was aimed at penalizing health professionals who had assisted women who opted for IVG and guaranteed that the woman’s option was not at stake.

“It would be unacceptable”

For the Portuguese Association of General and Family Medicine (APMGF) it would be “unacceptable” that the monitoring of STIs was intended solely and exclusively for women, as provided for in the initial evaluation proposal, considering that this “contributes to the perpetuation of gender stereotypes in women’s sexuality, imposing on them the burden of venereal disease”.

Noting that they perceive the need to measure good health practices in the area of ​​family planning in primary health care, doctors consider that “this is not the way” and question whether the decision-making bodies “are implying that the responsibility for this decision should be attributed, even in part, to health professionals?”.

Citing several reports from the Directorate-General for Health, the association states that since the implementation of the law, the The number of pregnancy interruptions has been successively decreasingand that since 2011 there has been no record of a woman’s death from IVG.

The new dimension related to GVI associated with “a known penalty, with an unequivocal moral judgmentnow known by the population, can promote a greater removal of women from primary health care”, notes the APMGF.

“Ultimately, it can even contribute to reducing safe abortions, increasing risks to women’s lives“, warns the association.

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