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Horta ,  September 12, 2019

Regional Government ensures family medicine coverage rate at 100% by 2020, says Regional Secretary

The Regional Secretary for Health stressed at the Legislative Assembly in Horta “the increase in the rate of health users covered by family doctors." On the occasion, she ensured that "98.6% of users will have a family doctor from November" and, after the completion of the training programme of the current interns, the rate will reach "100% by 2020," being a key goal in ensuring primary health care.
Teresa Machado Luciano spoke at a debate on the situation of the health sector in the Region, pointing out that waiting lists “deserve special attention.” In this regard, she announced “the issuance of 600 Health Vouchers to be used by the end of 2019,” namely in the "specialties of ophthalmology, urology, otorhinolaryngology and plastic surgery,” under the CIRURGE and VALE SAÚDE programmes. Moreover, she announced the "implementation of the CIRURGE programmes in the three regional hospitals” so that "the average waiting time on the list will be reduced by 20% until the end of 2019.”
In her speech, the official acknowledged that “the reality of the archipelago” is an “actual challenge.” However, she stressed that the Regional Health Service (SRS) has evolved over the last years and that the Regional Government's commitment to increase the quality level of assistance to the population “is undeniable.”
According to the Secretary for Health, "we grew 11% in eight years from 4,663 to 5,211 employees and, by the end of the year, we expect to have 197 more employees than in 2018.”
“This growth is evident in the medical career, registering a 16% increase since 2012. With regard to dentists in the Region, there was a 33% increase in professionals compared to 2012. In turn, the nursing career recorded a 11% increase," noted the government official.
“In the Region, we reached a geographical implementation rate of 100% in all screenings in 2018," Teresa Machado Luciano said, adding that, in terms of HPV vaccination, the Azores "have already reached a 97% rate, while the national target stood at 85%."
The Regional Secretary expressed the Government's “pride” in this path, but there are still several areas that need to be improved, namely “the recruitment of human resources for hospital specialties such as dermatology, orthopaedics and urology, among others.”
“Confident that the current times are an opportunity to take on greater challenges and grow professionally, we will continue to pursue the Government's strategic guidelines,” said Teresa Machado Luciano.


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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