Instituto Marquês de Valle Flôr, which has been developing for the last 25 years an extensive work on heath care next to Sao Tome and Principe’s population, was distinguished by the Minister of Health, Paulo Macedo, on Health Day, in a celebration that took place in INFARMED’s auditorium in Lisbon.
The programme Health for All developed by Instituto Marquês de Valle Flor now guarantees universal health coverage in Sao Tome and Principe. The programme assured a significant increase in efficient health care services through the action of specialist physicians in the field and through telemedicine.
The telemedicine appointments brought the Central Hospital of Sao Tome and the specialist Portuguese doctors closer, allowing for clinical cases, follow up and orientation in more complex cases. There was also training and monitoring at a distance of Sao Toméan physicians. This led to a 50% reduction of sanitary evacuation requests to Portugal, between 2009 and 2013. Not only did it had benefits in the proximity of the health care services provided but the reduction of evacuations led to a decrease in expenditure of 20% in the State Health Care budget of Sao Tome and about one million Euros for the Portuguese Ministry of Health.
“It is an honour to receive this distinction. It is undoubtedly due to the partnership spirit between local teams and national institutions that work with us.”, stated Paulo Telles de Freitas, IMVF Administrator. “It is also a recognition of our partners and financers for the quality of the work done and an incentive to continue our intervention on health care.”, he said.
The development of the programme Health for All depends on the efficient partnership between the Sao Tome and Principe Government, Portuguese Cooperation, the Directorate General of Health, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, PT, José De Mello Saúde Group, amongst others.
In 2013, the telemedicine platform Medigraf, developed in partnership with PT Innovation, gained new competences and benefits that boosted its use, due to the direct access to the Heath Information Network – RIS (Rede de Informação da Saúde). This Network now allows for the connection between the hospitals of the National Health Care Service of Portugal and the Central Hospital of Sao Tome, favouring a vaster follow up of the Sao Toméan population.
The programme Health for All covers the whole country and has transformed a centralised and inefficient national health care service in a network of preventive, primary and specialised health care providers, universal and functional, which benefits the entire Sao Toméan population.