IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Reform of the Health Care System in Portugal


  • Stéphanie Guichard


An ambitious reform to increase efficiency of the Portuguese health care system was launched in 2002. In contrast to previous attempts of gradual reforms, which were never fully implemented, the strategy has been to create a big bang in the health sector, making changes essentially irreversible. The reform has two main aims: to deliver better-quality public health services than at present but at no higher cost; and to reduce the underlying growth rate of public health-care spending over the medium term. New legislation approved includes the separation of the functions of regulation, financing and provision of health care services; setting up new models of financing for providers, which impose harder budget constraints; the introduction of incentives towards productivity, management and quality improvements; the possibility for the private sector to play a larger role in service provision; and the promotion of generic drugs. After assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the ... La réforme du système de santé au Portugal Une réforme ambitieuse a été engagée en 2002 au Portugal pour accroître l’efficience du système de santé. Contrairement aux tentatives précédentes de réformes graduelles, qui n’ont jamais été totalement mises en œuvre, la stratégie consiste à susciter un big-bang dans le secteur de la santé, rendant les efforts de réforme pour l’essentiel irréversibles. Cette réforme a deux objectifs principaux : améliorer la qualité des services de santé publique sans augmenter les coûts et réduire le taux de croissance sous-jacent des dépenses de santé publique à moyen terme. Les nouvelles législations incluent: la séparation des fonctions de réglementation, de financement et de prestation de services de santé publique ; la mise en place de nouvelles modalités de financement pour les prestataires, qui imposent des contraintes budgétaires plus rigoureuses ; l’introduction d’incitations en faveur de la productivité, de la gestion et de l’amélioration de la qualité; la possibilité pour le secteur ...

Suggested Citation

  • Stéphanie Guichard, 2004. "The Reform of the Health Care System in Portugal," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 405, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:405-en

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Paulino Silva & Aldónio Ferreira, 2010. "Performance management in primary healthcare services: evidence from a field study," Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 7(4), pages 424-449, November.

    More about this item


    health; Portugal; Portugal; santé;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:405-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.