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Ten Years since the 2006 Creation of the Portuguese National Network for Long-Term Care: Achievements and Challenges

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E-pub ahead of print
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/01/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Health Policy
<mark>State</mark>E-pub ahead of print
Early online date11/01/18
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The Portuguese National Network for Long-term Integrated Care (Rede Nacional de Cuidados Continuados, RNCCI) was created in 2006 as a partnership between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity. The formal provision of care within the RNCCI is made up of non-profit and non-public institutions called Private Institutions of Social Solidarity, public institutions belonging to the National Health Service, and for-profit-institutions. These institutions are organized by type of care in two main settings: (i) Home and Community-Based Services, and (ii) four types of Nursing Homes to account for different care needs. This is the first study that assess the RNCCI reform in Portugal since 2006 and takes into account several core dimensions: coordination, ownership, organizational structure, financing system and main features, as well as the challenges ahead. Evidence suggests that despite providing universal access, Portuguese policymakers face the following challenges: multiple sources of financing, the existence of several care settings and the sustained increase of admissions at the RNCCI, the dominance of institutionalization, the existence of waiting lists, regional asymmetries, the absence of a financing model based on dependence levels, or the difficulty to use the instrument of needs assessment for international comparison.