“A health plan that is a complement to the National Health
Service […]. The health plan is to say that all people in Lisbon who are over
65 years old can have access to a doctor”, said the mayor, Carlos Moedas (PSD),
in the presentation to the press of the proposal, which has yet to be voted on at
a meeting of the municipal executive.
Carlos Moedas said that the proposal aims to give “general
access” to health care to the 130,000 Lisbon residents over 65 years of age,
through a teleconsultation service available 24 hours a day, in which, in case
of need, “the doctor can decide to go to the person’s house”, as well as
referrals for ambulance transport or home delivery of medicines.
The plan also intends to go “further” in supporting the
5,000 Lisbon residents who benefit from the solidarity supplement for the
elderly, who will be able to have free access to optometry consultations and
glasses, as well as dental prostheses and oral hygiene, “services that are not
covered by the National Health Service (SNS)”, stating that the proposal is
part of the objective of “building the local social state”.
To have access to this medical service, elderly “just need
to go to their pharmacy”, take their Citizen Card, which certifies that they
have residency in Lisbon, and sign up for the plan, he explained, clarifying
that, contrary to what was initially planned, the operationalisation is not
dependent on the adhesion of the parish councils.
“We cannot live in a country where we do not solve people’s
problems and who are constantly, in the case of health, thinking about whether
it is public or private”, defended Carlos Moedas, considering that the
existence of 1.5 million Portuguese people without family doctor “is the case
of a fragile national state”.