The political status in Portugal
Portugal is gearing for national elections, as Portuguese citizens will head to the polls on 6 October. Polls recently revealed that, despite political support for the current socialist Prime Minister António Costa remaining solid. With 35.5% of votes, Prime Minister Costa may look to renew his mandate, his coalition may fail to obtain a majority. The polls suggest that the Social Democratic Party (SDP) would place second with 20.3%, their worst-ever legislative results. They are followed by the Left Bloc (BE) on 14.7%. The People, Animals, Nature (PAN) party is in fourth position with 7.9% of support. The Unitary Democratic Coalition (PCP/PEV) are polling at 5.6% and the People's Party (CDS-PP) have 3.3% support. The coordinator for the BE (Left bloc) has claimed that the National Health System (SNS) will be the main topic of discussion of the new government that will be formed after the October elections.
Following the European elections, the former Minister for Planning and Environment, Elisa Ferreira, the Portuguese Commissioner, was assigned the ‘Cohesion and Reforms' portfolio. She is currently the Vice-Governor of Banco de Portugal and was an MEP for many years.
In health-related news, a report on the Portuguese Institute of Blood and Transplants (IPST) shows that the debt of hospitals in 2018 stands at EUR 83 billion. The Health Ministry is monitoring the situation and has devised a payment plan that will not compromise IPST’s activities. Moreover, the Status of Informal Caregivers was published on 6 September and gives the Government four months to identify the necessary measures to strengthen protection of informal caregivers.