President rubber-stamps new health service legislation, full of “doubts and misgivings”

Marcelo outlines presidential Catch-22

President of the Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has promulgated with “numerous doubts and misgivings” the diplomas approving “full dedication in the SNS (State health service), the organisation and operation of Family Health Units and the creation of Local Health Units”.

In a note published on his official website, the head of State states that the two pieces of legislation sent by the government for promulgation not only raise doubts and misgivings, but have received “more or less intense opposition from professionals in the sector“.

Listing the various doubts raised – beginning by stating that the diplomas “appear after, and not before, the government regulated, by decree, the Public Institute for managing the SNS” – Marcelo notes that the SNS Executive Directorate “only begins to know its legal status more than a year after its announcement”.

With regard to the decree approving the legal regime for full dedication in the SNS and the organisation and operation of Family Health Units (USF), he criticises the fact that the decree adds “to matters of administrative organisation, two others that deserve separate treatment: the so-called full dedication regime and the overtime regime.

“This solution, apparently temporary, ends up limiting and weakening the specific treatment of these matters,” says the president, considering “the organisational component also loses out as a result of the case-by-case process adopted.”

After outlining his arguments, Marcelo remarks that “it may be that a door will be opened, even a narrow one, in the regimes for the provision of services and their remuneration”, harking back to his hopes that a door, “even a narrow one”, might be opened with regard to teachers recovering their ‘frozen’ pay and careers…

Essentially, the president believes it is “urgent to make up for the more than a year lost” in terms of powers for the executive directorate – and he doesn’t want to delay things any further. A possible presidential veto “would only delay what has already been delayed”, with the government more than likely to do what it did with his last veto (which was basically nothing: the legislation went back to parliament and was voted on, unchanged, a second time – at which point Marcelo’s powers of veto were no more).

Source material: LUSA

Portugal Resident