Minister sets up task force to improve access to medical training

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 15-12-2019 08:00:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s minister of health decided to set up a task force to create a manual of rules and procedures for the assessment of medical training capacities in the country’s health service (SNS), after failures identified in an audit.

An order published in the state journal ‘Diário da República’, signed by Minister Marta Temido, defines the creation of a task force that, , has to make a manual of rules and procedures of the process that assigns suitability and medical training capabilities in the units of the SNS by 1 April next year.

The creation of this force happens after an external and independent audit has pointed out flaws in the process, namely to the Portuguese Medical Association, considering that the assessment of the capacity to train doctors in the SNS has been subjective and poorly documented.

The allocation of vacancies for the internship is based every year on the definition of the suitability and training capacity of the health services. Vacancies are opened by the health ministry but based on the identification of capacities by the Portuguese Medical Association.

In the order, the minister recalled that in 2016, and for the first time, there were doctors who could not find a place for specialised training.

"Until 2016, the number of vacancies made available for specialised medical training was identical to the number of doctors applying for this training. However, in 2016, and for the first time, some doctors could not find a place for specialised training.”

The task force now created is made up of members of the Medical Association, the Central Administration of the Health System, the National Council for Medical Internships and the regional committees for Medical Internships.

The need for a group that creates a manual of rules and procedures occurs, indicates the dispatch after the external audit has revealed the need for greater attention to the processes of recognition of suitability and allocation of training capabilities.

The audit report, which the Lusa agency released last week, pointed out flaws in this process of evaluation of suitability and training capabilities, indicating that lack of standardization and documentation of the process, which increases inefficiency, in addition to the evaluation being subjective.

Therefore, the audit considered that there may be different evaluations of the criteria and, therefore, an inadequacy of these criteria for each medical speciality, which may lead to subjectivity in the assessment of the suitability and training capacities of each service.

The question of subjectivity may, according to the auditors, slightly affect the use of the training capacity.

The document also concluded that the number of young physicians without access to specialised training will increase because in the current conditions of the SNS units it will be difficult to maintain the growth of vacancies for specialisation.


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