A common challenge for many countries is to find the right level for the achievement and implementation of health policies and administration. Many countries have decentralized health competencies, seeking the balance of health gains, equity in access to healthcare, and efficiency in the health system. Analyzing the arguments for and against, in many cases the same motives are used to justify the movement in opposite directions, but given the complex multidimensional nature of decentralization, there are difficulties in attributing the results to decentralization, instead other characteristics of the health system.
In Portugal, formally, decentralization is a keyword in the constitutional framework of the National Health Service (NHS). The governmental Basic Law of Health, of 1990, establishes that the NHS is managed at the regional level, with responsibility for the health status of the population, coordination of all levels of healthcare provision and distribution of financial resources according to needs of the population. This principle is in line with reform trends in many European countries, where decentralization is seen as an effective way of improving service provision and resource allocation according to needs, involving the community in the health decisions and reducing health inequalities. However, in practice, responsibility for the planning, financing and management of the NHS remains highly centralized.
The participation of Portuguese municipalities in health policies and in the management of NHS units is modest, highlighting in the composition of the local health units (ULS) (Decree-Law no. 18/2017 of February 10), the designation of one of the members by the Intermunicipal Community or by the Metropolitan Area, depending on the location of the ULS in question.
This seminar aims to achieve four fundamental objectives: to deepen doctrinal aspects and theoretical models related to the theme of municipalities and health; to know and analyze concrete achievements in this area; to evaluate the impact of one intervention process of the municipalities in health; discuss future developments of this process.
See the Programme
Free entry, although you must register.
The certificate of participation costs € 10.