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Horta ,  December 13, 2019

Health promotion determines end of health fees in primary care

The Regional Secretary for Health stated at the Legislative Assembly in Horta that the Regional Government intends that "emergency services should be only used by those who need it."
 
"What we are saying is not new. It is health promotion and disease prevention, seeing that primary health care is a gateway to the Regional Health Service," said Teresa Machado Luciano, who spoke Thursday at a discussion of legislative initiatives on health fees in the Regional Health Service.
 
According to the Secretary for Health, "primary health care is working as far as we have family doctors and multidisciplinarity is a reality." Therefore, she considered that the application of health fees should be limited to emergency hospital services and basic emergency units in less urgent and non-urgent cases (green and blue levels) according to the Manchester Triage system.
 
Regarding the reliability of Manchester Triage, Teresa Machado Luciano pointed out that this is an "accredited, audited and validated methodology," adding that the Portuguese Triage Group validates triage in the Azores on an annual basis.
 
The Regional Secretary also added that "it will be applied in all basic emergency units on all islands until the end of the year."
 
According to Teresa Machado Luciano, as of 2018, false emergencies corresponded to about 60% of the cases registered by these services.
 
Among the 110,000 cases registered at the Emergency Services of Divino Espírito Santo Hospital in Ponta Delgada last year, 64,000 fell under the less urgent and non-urgent categories.
 
The Horta Hospital on Faial Island recorded 22 thousand cases, of which 13,500 were less urgent or non-urgent. In turn, the Santo Espírito Hospital on Terceira Island recorded 57 thousand cases, of which 32 thousand were less urgent and non-urgent.
 
“The Azores Health Line (808 24 60 24) has tripled the number of calls and users are already being referred to primary care and emergency services without paying health fees,” revealed Teresa Machado Luciano.
 
The Regional Secretary also noted that revenue from health fees correspond to 0.25% of the 275-million Euro allocation for the health budget, so "it is definitely not a source of funding, but rather a user fee."

 


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Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

 
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