The aim of the parliamentary group is that with the draft resolution, which will be discussed on 23 June in the parliamentary health committee, "the Government will boost the update and implementation of the National Strategic Plan for Telehealth, approved in 2019, as well as the regulation of existing measures, creating for this a permanent advisory committee on telehealth, coordinated by the National Centre for Telehealth."
According to the statement from the parliamentary group of the Socialist Party (GPPS), the proposal wants to accelerate digitalisation in health, taking into account that the digital transition is one of the priority areas of the Recovery and Resilience Plan and taking advantage of "the learnings" of the pandemic period, which should lead to reflection to adapt the National Health Service (NHS) "to current and future challenges".
"In this sense, the decree [...] recommends that the government "ensure access to digital and telehealth services, through simple channels", in order to allow, among other features, the scheduling of appointments and the renewal of usual medication, as well as the provision of "telecare and telemonitoring" to patients at greater risk and chronically ill patients," reads the GPPS statement.
The document also highlights as examples of "useful learning" during the pandemic concerning the SNS24 telephone line, the Screening and Counselling Service, the creation of the Psychological Counselling Service and the implementation of the Portuguese Sign Language Interpretation Service, which allowed deaf people to be attended by video call.
"The legislative initiative also recommends that the executive "promotes the existence of a general legislative framework for telehealth, based on the various legislative initiatives promoted over the last decade", that strengthens and incorporates telehealth in the Standards of Clinical Guidance and in the Integrated Care Processes of the various clinical areas and that provides for mandatory training of the various professional groups in this area, involving, for this purpose, higher education institutions", the statement adds.