On Wednesday, the minister of health, Marta Temido, announced in parliament that the new statute will be approved this week by the Council of Ministers.

The Government Program emphasises that the statute, along with the investments foreseen in the Recovery and Resilience Plan, will contribute with the “necessary instruments for the effective change of the SNS”.

The document, which will make it possible to regulate specific aspects of the Basic Health Law approved in 2019, comes at a time when the SNS is still recovering from the effects caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In recent weeks, some public hospitals have also faced difficulties in ensuring full rosters of doctors, resulting in constraints and the temporary closure of these services, with the re-routing of patients to other units.

This situation has led doctors' representatives to denounce the departure of SNS specialists to the private sector, due to the lack of attractiveness of public hospitals, with the Government guaranteeing that, since 2015, more than 32,000 professionals have entered the SNS - 15,000 in the last two years, 4,000 of which are specialists.

In this context, Minister Marta Temido has responded with the “strategic solutions” provided for in the new SNS Statute, claiming that she will achieve a vision in terms of human resources with the autonomy of hiring, with incentives for health professionals.

In the area of ​​management, one of the main innovations of the document is the creation of a new Executive Directorate at the central level, which will be responsible for coordinating the assistance response of the health units and ensuring the functioning of the SNS in a network.

The Government claims that this new entity will assume a role of operational coordination of the SNS that proved necessary in the response to the pandemic and that must now be reinforced, but the Ordem dos Médicos considers that it is “nonsense” because there are already structures that can perform the same tasks.