Moldovan delegates learn from the Portuguese primary health care model


As part of the current transformation of the primary health care sector and the development of a new health-care strategy in the Republic of Moldova, a group of the country’s decision-makers and health professionals visited Portugal to learn from their experience.

The visit, on 10–14 October 2017, focused on the following areas of the Portuguese primary health care model:

  • ways in which centres and family doctors are contracted
  • state ownership of  facilities, group practices of family doctors and their teams
  • the key performance indicators system
  • use of electronic patient records
  • human resources.

In particular, the Moldovan delegation visited:

  • primary health care and specialized ambulatory care service providers;
  • the Regional Health Administration of Lisbon and the Tagus Valley, to further understand the role and scope of governance of the regional authorities and the family medicine organization;
  • the health system’s central administration.

The Moldovan health professionals learned from Portugal’s experience in family medicine, and gained critical knowledge from the work of the Family Health Units Association, an institution which represents the interests of primary health care providers in Portugal.

Transformation of the primary health care system in the Republic of Moldova

In 2017, a broad process of reorganization of the primary health care system was initiated in the Republic of Moldova. A series of events and policy dialogues on implementing the reform took place in Chisinau, with the aim of building cohesion on the overall priorities and direction for a new strategy based around family medicine.

In the last 10 years, a series of reforms have been implemented in the Republic of Moldova to improve the overall performance of primary health care. These have included the decentralization of primary health care services, the introduction of a list of compensated medicines, the standardization of care, and the introduction of performance-based contracting.

The strong commitment at all levels to modernize and further strengthen the health-care sector through large-scale health system transformation, with primary health care as the cornerstone, serves as a driver for designing a strategy built around family medicine.

The visit was organized jointly by the WHO Country Office in the Republic of Moldova and a team of health professionals from the Family Health Units Association of Portugal.

The event formed part of the activities envisaged under the Biennial Collaborative Agreement 2016–2017 between the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova and WHO Europe. The study visit was funded jointly by WHO and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation project “Support to strengthening governance and policy dialogue in health sector – 2nd phase”.