Salvador de Mello  defends freedom of choice

On 27 September 2013, at Fundação Eng.º António de Almeida, the 3rd ERS Forum on the "Independent Regulation in Portugal" was held in Oporto, organised by the Portuguese Health Regulation Authority [Entidade Reguladora da Saúde – ERS].

The forum programme included four sessions on the following subjects: "The New Framework Law of Regulatory Bodies", "The New Framework Law and the Regulatory Bodies", "The New Framework Law and ERS", "The New Framework Law and Health Providers". Among other people, this session was attended by Salvador de Mello.

The CEO of José de Mello Saúde defends that freedom of choice should be a reality in our health system. He believes that if it is progressively adopted, not only it is feasible, but it can also become crucial to the structuring and sustainability of a modern health system that would fully address the aspirations of the public.

Salvador de Mello has underlined the strategic importance of rethinking our health system, bearing in mind that the sustainability of the system, in this framework and with the existing rules, is not guaranteed. The lack of resources, in a country that is nearly stagnant in terms of economic growth, is now coming as one of the factors behind the pressure on the system. Therefore, because of not only the adversities, but also the potential of the health system, we have to address this in a more integrated way, and a rationalisation effort must be carried out.

Salvador de Mello has also stressed the growing importance of the private healthcare sector in terms of clinical and non-clinical quality. Today, the system is a mixture of several providers (public, private, and public-private) with an action that is marked by two fundamental pillars: the warranty that the delivered services would have clinical quality, and the efficiency in using the resources. Therefore, it is crucial to cope with this sector’s growing complexity: technical preparation and demand are some of the key ingredients for an effective regulation and for normal tensions to result in something that is constructive for the Sector.