The act had already been approved by the Government in July, but now the Council of Ministers has approved its final draft.

In June, the Ministry of Health admitted to contracting foreign doctors, a possibility that would be evaluated based on the result of contests and specialist recruitment by the SNS’s own units.

In July, at the final reunion of the Council of Ministers, who approved the law’s first draft, the minister of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, highlighted that the new legislation will lead to answer the shortage of professionals in some areas, such as healthcare.

In parliament, the minister of Health, Manuel Pizarro, announced the contracting of 200 to 300 medics from Latin America to work three years in health centres in the Alentejo, Algarve, Lisbon and Tagus Valley after Jornal de Notícias having reported that the Government had been preparing the contracting of 300 Cuban doctors for the SNS.

The Order of Medics contests the automatic recognition, in administration, of foreign medical specialties, defending that they should be validated by judges based on the criteria used to validate Portuguese medical specialties.

The exceptional and temporary regime planned – of specific recognition of foreign academic degrees in the field of Medicine, made to attract doctors to work with the SNS – fits into the law approved in its final draft which alters the judicial process of recognising academic degrees and higher education diplomas handed out by foreign institutions.

A press release from the Council of Ministers’ meeting considers the recognition of these diplomas to be especially relevant “for effects of recruiting doctorates from institutions of the national scientific and technological system.”

The same law also foresees the automatic recognition of an academic degree or foreign diploma recognised by another EU Member State.

The Counsel of Ministers has also approved, in its final draft, the law which defines “the minimum requirements of scientific training adequate to disciplinary areas of different recruitment groups for the selection of workers holding a post-Bologna course in contracting procedures,” or rather, the recruitment standards in scientific fields of work.