The Government declined to clarify, this Thursday, at the Assembly of the Republic (AR), whether calls to the SNS24 line will continue to be free after the repeal of almost all exceptional measures instituted during the covid-19 pandemic. , currently under debate in Parliament. Questioned by JN, the Ministry of Health has not yet clarified what it intends to do.
The zero cost of calls to 808 24 24 24 was instituted in April 2020, as part of the fight against the spread of covid-19. Law n.º 7/2020, of April 10, then determined that, within a maximum period of 60 days, the guardianship should change the prefix “808” to “a special number, ensuring its total gratuity for users”.
Two months later, the number still hadn’t changed and, in May 2021, the Ministry of Health assured JN that the line would remain free. The promise has been fulfilled. Only, now, Law n.º 7/2020 is one of the dozens of diplomas approved during the pandemic whose repeal is voted today in general in the AR.
“What changed was not access to the general lines of Health, it was the State considering, and well, that the SNS24 line is a first screening. […] Having ended user fees, it makes no sense to create another user fee”, said deputy Pedro Filipe Soares, from BE. Paula Santos, from PCP, also raised the issue.
In response, the Secretary of State for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, André Moz Caldas, reiterated only the “availability of the Government in whatever is necessary to improve the proposed law” under discussion.
Consensus on attestations
One of the proposals that will certainly be discussed in the specialty is the extension of the transitional regime for issuing multipurpose medical certificates of disability, which has allowed cancer patients to enjoy the social, economic and fiscal benefits provided for by law without the need for a medical board. .
The measure was implemented by Law n.º 14/2021, of April 6, one of the diplomas whose end of validity is also under debate. The Government’s bill already provided that the revocation would only take place from May 31, 2023, but, this Thursday, the PS admitted, as several parties defended, that this could happen later.
“It is important to maintain a bridge between regimes”, justified Socialist deputy Pedro Delgado Alves.