European Union of Private Hospitals

Portuguese private health establishments sign protocol with 70 patient’s associations to improve access to care

NOVEMBER 2020 – The National Health Council of CIP – The Business Confederation of Portugalof which APHP is a member – promoted a wide debate among its members and 70 patient associations aimed at promoting better conditions in the relationship between health establishments and patients and ensuring that citizens have access to quality and patient-focused care.

On Wednesday November 11th, the members of the National Strategic Health Council of CIP and 70 Patient Associations signed a Document of Understanding that establishes measures to guarantee and improve the access of patients to care.

The protocol provides for the adoption of measures based on common objectives, namely: promoting the humanization of care and bringing care closer to citizens; creating digital interoperability in order to improve access and optimize resources; promote the connection and deepen the relationship between health institutions and patients; guarantee the quality and safety of health services and contribute to the execution of the Maximum Guaranteed Response Times.

The document is composed of 13 measures of immediate implementation, agreed between Patients’ Associations and private health establishments, for the urgent continuation of care for these patients.

Among the 13 measures, it is worth stressing  the creation of a specific recovery plan for effective and urgent access to Primary Care, the creation of a Patient Support Service in health establishments of greater complexity and dimension , and the guarantee of accompanying the patient via  special assistance to those in need, namely elderly people and those who have limited physical or mental capacities.

The signed protocol also defines other common points such as the need to encourage the provision of a telephone contact which would ensure clinical screening  for the patient in the event of the aggravation of the disease,  and determines that hospitals must create means for safe digital access for the patient to avoid unnecessary travel .

Another highlight is the commitment of the Pharmacy network to maintain the therapy of patients by dispensing hospital drugs in proximity. Pharmacies, in collaboration with the distribution sector, are also committed to study support mechanisms for medication home delivery, so that the patient can order and receive his medication without leaving his home.

In turn, the Pharmaceutical Industry and the Medical Device Industry agreed to develop Patient Support Programs  which would enable the strengthening of a differentiated service, namely the possibility of administering drugs at home and the creation of online support platforms and applications for patients.