SPMI and APMGF said they were worried about the arrival of winter, arguing that "the Portuguese's appeal to hospital emergencies is twice the average of the OECD countries" – Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
"In recent years, there has been a growing tendency to resort to hospital emergency services, to the detriment of the demand for primary health care. This growing demand means that hospital emergencies are always working within the limits of efficiency and lead to the occurrence of multiple waiting hours in the service, "João Araújo Correia, president of SPMI, said in the statement.
Patients at risk
According to the specialist, this situation "far exceeds the recommendations of the Manchester Triage, compromising the safety of patients and professionals."
"It was good that there was the political courage to publicize a compulsory circuit for the non-emergent acute patient, which would indicate the need for the primary resource to the Health Center, being guaranteed, easy access in extended hours," he says.
It also considers that "significant changes are also necessary in the financing of Hospitals and Health Centers, giving different incentives to the treatment of the acute patient, according to the natural mission of each one."
The two entities hope that this joint meeting will produce a consensual document, to be released publicly, and sent to the Ministry of Health, the Directorate General of Health and the Regional Health Administrations.
SPMI considers that the increase in the relationship between Internal Medicine and General and Family Medicine "is a fundamental condition for real improvements in the efficiency of the National Health Service".
In this line of cooperation, in March 2018, SPMI and APMGF signed a memorandum of intent, which covers many areas of cooperation between the two specialties, and opens the possibility of reaching consensus, which can serve as a basis for policy makers.