LPCDR organized a Conference about «Early Diagnosis / Early Referral: Health, Social and Economic Impact of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases»
The Portuguese League against Rheumatic Diseases (LPCDR) organized on the 23rd of February a Conference and a round-table discussion in Lisbon, under the title «Early Diagnosis / Early Referral: Health, Social and Economic Impact of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases»
The main incentive behind the decision of LPCDR to organise this Conference, was the fact that recent studies indicate that 56% of the Portuguese population suffer from a Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Disease (RMD). The Portuguese healthcare system is composed of three coexisting systems: The National Health Service (SNS), special social health insurance schemes for certain professions (health subsystems) and voluntary private health insurance. The SNS provides universal coverage, through public primary care centres and hospitals. There are no rheumatologists at the communities or at primary care centres. Patients must be referred by General Practitioners/Family Doctors to the specialists, within the SNS or go for private practice clinics, without any reimbursement. At national level, the SNS has only 107 rheumatologists. For this reason, in the end of 2015, the Minister of Health approved the National Network of Hospital Specialties and Referencing in Rheumatology (RNEHRR) to be implemented by 2019.
Therefore, in this context LPCDR with the support of EULAR PARE Engagement Programme and the Portuguese Society of Rheumatology organized this conference and round-table discussion at the Library Room, in the Portuguese Parliament. Politicians and decision-makers were the main audience, while RMDs patients’ organisations, the Portuguese Society of Rheumatology, and other relevant stakeholders, like rheumatologists, health professionals, GP’s associations also participated.
During this Conference the Director-General of Health was committed to launch a Public Health campaign for RMDs.