José M. Jesus Silva MD
Armed Forces General Staff
Av. Ilha da Madeira, 1 – 4º piso
Basic Task of the Military Medical Service
The Portuguese Military Health System’s mission is primarily to ensure medical support to the military forces, the maintenance and recovery of appropriate operational capacity to function in the national territory or by the Outstanding National Forces and also to ensure medical care for reservists and retired military and their families, including disabled military. Providing a crucial support system for the armed forces and an increasingly important component in scenarios of international conflict, has established, over the years, the need to create a new organization model that can meet the needs, current and future, of the Armed Forces, given the socio-economic context of Portugal, covering the whole of human, material, financial and hospital infrastructure. Despite the recognized centrality of Military Health issues, the complexity and sensitivity of the matter have led to a process of gradual and phased reform, which is about to be completed and whose greatest achievement is the creation of a single military hospital with two poles, one in Lisbon and the other in Oporto.
The new management model for the Military Health System is already poured into the legislation itself, especially in the new Organic Laws of the National Defence Ministry (where the Military Health Division is integrated) and of the Armed Forces General Staff (where was recently created the Military Health Directorate, to ensure support for the Chief of the General Staff’s decision within the military health as well as the direction and execution of hospital care provided by military health establishments, in particular by the Hospital of the Armed Forces.
Number of Health Service Personnel
The majority of human resources for Health (doctors, nurses, senior health technicians, diagnostic and therapeutic senior technicians, medical action auxiliary personnel and first responders) is currently assigned to the Hospital of the Armed Forces, with the remainder staff scattered by other military health structures.
|HOSPITAL||OTHER MILITARY HEALTH STRUCTURES||TOTAL|
|Diagnosis and Therapy Technicians|
Source: Statistical Yearbook of Portuguese National Defence – 2014
Education, Training and Research in Military Health Unit
This unit will substitute the current School of Military Health Service and it will be responsible for training and postgraduate education within the Military Health as well as the coordination of clinical research studies in this area. In this unit will be integrated the Biomedical Simulation Centre for education, training and evaluation using simulated practices in artificial models or animals, applied to hospital medicine and operational medicine, to support the armed forces in training for emergency.
The Portuguese Armed Forces develop several activities, with the participation of Military Health personnel and equipment, in the various fields of international cooperation, namely: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the International Committee on Military Medicine (ICMM), the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPSC) or partner countries in the bilateral cooperation context (Angola, Brazil, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and others).
During 2015, till July, the Portuguese Armed Forces had 703 military engaged in peacekeeping operations outside the national territory, including staff of the military health care whenever necessary.