WHO collaborates on Portugal's National Health Plan 2012-2016


Dr Rui of Portugal makes a presentation at the policy dialogue on 9 May 2014.

On 9 May 2014, WHO/Europe teams from the programmes of Public health services, Health system governance and Health systems policy, in collaboration with the Directorate General for Public Health of Portugal, organized a policy dialogue on the implementation of the Portuguese National Health Plan (NHP) 2012-2016.

The NHP is a national policy framework oriented towards achieving health gains. It has a strong focus on health citizenship, equity and high quality of health services and is inspired by Health 2020, the WHO policy framework for the European Region.

The policy dialogue aimed to prepare for the re-launch of the NHP at the forthcoming National Health Forum which will take place on 17 June in Lisbon. It is an important time as Portugal has just left the European financial stabilisation mechanism.

Amongst the 40 participants were senior health officials from the Government, regional health administration and health service provider institutions. Participants were strongly engaged in the discussions and proposed a series of recommendations for implementation of the NHP.

These recommendations include:

  • extending the NHP to 2020 in line with Health 2020;
  • having the Plan adopted by parliament and the whole of government;
  • implementing with carefully selected and focused messages, indicators and involving other sectors;
  • keeping momentum by focusing on advocacy and communication and appointing mediators from other sectors;
  • integrating the 9 priority programmes into the NHP through special institutional and service contracts;
  • engaging the health professional community in implementation and reinforcing the training of health professionals in the areas identified in the NHP;
  • separating the monitoring of the Plan - with a more selected number of indicators - from the evaluation;
  • considering an independent observatory for monitoring NHP and overall health gains.

WHO/Europe will concentrate on the preparations for the input to the National Health Forum in line with the recommendations for the meeting.