by Mike Tolochko
Based on the post Dictatorship Constitution, the Portuguese National Health Service was established in 1979. Over 90% of the population uses its system of public hospitals and salaried physicians. This needs to be said, because recently, the directives of the European Union, followed too closely by the governing Socialist Party, has allowed some of the funding for the NHS to deteriorate. This opened the door to the insurance monopolies.
This has resulted in the selling of private insurance policies to some people. On the other hand recent attempts to regionalize the NHS were soundly defeated. The struggle continues.
Under the NHS, and since a couple of years ago, there are full abortion rights up to 10 to 14 weeks. This being a Catholic country, these rights are all the more significant. It took mass pressure to uphold the rights of women in this regard. In Spain, there are full abortion rights for over 20 years…there the law allows abortions up to 12 weeks.
Personal Medical Records on Data Base
There is a national database of individual medical records so that everyone in the system can have their records pulled up when traveling to any part of the country. This is still a dream on the U.S.
When traveling out of the county and when health services are needed, the cost of the services are fully reimbursed upon return.
Specialized Care? ORGAN TRANSPLANTS
Since 1979, again the new Constitution, organ transplants are a common medical procedure. Under the law, in accidents and similar occurrences, all organs are made available. Only, if people specifically reject this possibility will the organs not be removed. That is the kind of default system that works.
Cost? NO COST AT ALL AT THE TIME OF THE SURGERY AND ALSO THE FOLLOW UP MEDICINES THAT STOP ORGAN REJECTION BY THE BODY.
There is a National Registry of Organs.
As the U.S. goes through its latest struggle to beat off the insurance carriers, medical device, supplies and equipment companies; drug companies and the banks; here in Portugal the people enjoy full health care rights.
Maybe the U.S. needs a constitutional Amendment for the right to health care like what was needed for other crisis and important economic and social issues?