The plan was sent to the Lisbon and Tagus Valley Regional Health Administration, to the executive director of the National Health Service and also delivered to the Minister of Health during a visit he made to the Via Verde Seixal unit, within the scope of the initiative entitled “Governo + Next”.

Health professionals defend a temporary model to respond to an emergency that is based on the existence of a mission team with a differentiated remuneration.

Alexandra Fernandes, doctor and coordinator of Via Verde Seixal, a health unit that was created a year ago to respond to the approximately 45,000 users without family doctors in the municipality, is one of the signatories of the document.

In the municipality of Seixal, in the district of Setúbal, thousands of people do not have a family doctor, but instead of trying their luck in long queues, late at night, they can make an appointment over the phone in a unit with specialist doctors and nurses, interns and even retirees.

Speaking to Lusa agency, she explained that the Via Verde Saúde model, which also already exists in Almada, is one of the examples that can be implemented at national level to provide a temporary response to a “very serious problem”.

The aim is to create a flexible way of organizing according to the circumstances, context and resources that can be mobilized for each needy location, creating multidisciplinary teams which they call “mission teams”.

The recruitment of these local mission teams, they explain in the document, must be independent of the number of doctors, nurses and other professionals foreseen in the personnel maps of each health centre grouping.

The answer, they say, must be centered on people and on the most essential health needs such as vaccination, family planning care, pregnancy surveillance, newborn surveillance and surveillance throughout the first years of life, qualified and timely care in situations of acute illness, approach to complex situations of multimorbidity and control of risk factors and chronic diseases that can lead to complications, hospitalization and even death if neglected.

The plan was designed by health professionals from health centers in Seixal, Amadora, Olivais, Sintra, Brandoa and Almada who warn of the fact that more than 1.5 million people in Portugal do not have an “assigned family team” and that there is a forecast of retirement of more than a thousand family doctors in 2023 alone and about 500 more in the two subsequent years.