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Lagoa ,  June 28, 2019

Regional Health Plan for next decade is "immediate challenge," says Rui Luís

The Regional Secretary for Health stated in Lagoa on São Miguel Island that the most immediate challenge in this sector will be the preparation and development of the Regional Health Plan for the next decade.
"There are, at least, three areas that should deserve our special attention in terms of investment, such as continuing care, palliative care and mental health, all based on better home care," stated Rui Luís at the opening session of the forum "Regional Health Service: A Conquest, a right of the Azoreans."
Rui Luís stressed that these remain the guiding principles of a Regional Health Service that is intended to be efficient and bold, without forgetting the main reasons for its existence: citizens.
At this meeting, promoted by the Regional Section of the Portuguese Nursing Association, the Secretary for Health called for partners' cooperation to prepare the future of the Regional Health Service (SRS), which celebrates 40 years of existence in 2020.
Alluding to the four decades of existence of SRS, the Regional Secretary emphasised that it has been the symbol of our Autonomy and Cohesion Policy.
"The core value that underpins this service is based on universality, equity and accessibility of Azoreans to health care, regardless of their social and economic condition," stated the government official.
In his speech, he recalled the geographical condition, the model of the regional network of infrastructures and the responses adapted to the needs of each reality.
For Rui Luís, the implementation of a Regional Health Service adapted to the scale of an archipelago has brought gains that have placed the Azores at the level of the health standards of the rest of Europe.
"This capability and the importance of primary health care is evidenced by the evolution of the infant mortality rate as well as the success achieved with regional vaccination and oral health programmes, which are taken as references at national level," stated the government official.
The Azores have vaccination coverage rates above 99%, while 75% of children up to six years of age are free of dental caries thanks to the Oral Health Programme.
Regarding disease prevention and health promotion, the Regional Secretary highlighted ongoing public initiatives, such as cancer screenings, which have resulted in the recent publication of the Cancer Registry of the last 20 years. Moreover, he mentioned the Regional Programme for the Promotion of Healthy Eating, the Action Plan for the Reduction of Alcohol-Related Problems and the Action Plan to Combat Tobacco.
In his speech, he also reiterated his pride in the Regional Health Service and in its organisational evolution.
"This recognition is important. It is fair not only because it was an achievement and a right of the Azoreans, but also because it relies on the daily work of more than 5,000 dedicated and competent professionals, who ensure its operation. It is also based on investments in infrastructures as well as on adequate and modern equipment," said the Regional Secretary.


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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