To extend the service, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has changed its membership rules of the municipalities. With the new ordinance No. 1533 published in July last year, over 432 new municipalities will deploy teams of home care, bringing the total to 759 cities.
The changes to the service allows for cities with a population of more than 40,000 to deploy the programme, provided they have a referral hospital and an emergency services programme.
Aristides Oliveira, the coordinator of the programme, was quoted as saying: “This change will provide a 130% increase in the number of municipalities that may have the home care teams.”
The new membership rules allow for greater flexibility of working hours within the team, in response to local needs.
The criteria for deployment of a second home care team have also been reduced. Under the new membership rules, a city with a population of 150,000 can deploy a second team, whereas in the past a population of 200,000 was needed to qualify.
Each team can assist about 60 patients at a time. People with motor rehab needs, elderly people, chronic disease patients with no impairment or post-surgery situation with possibility of discharge from the hospital will be attended by a multidisciplinary team throughout the week, 12 hours a day, with shifts on the weekends and holidays.
Guidance for professionals
The MoH has prepared two home care manuals containing information about historical aspects, service management, workflow, palliative care, family approach, etc.
These manuals will be made available through the MoH website and the printed versions will be sent to the all licensed services in the country.