Portugal: abortion not criteria for doctors' evaluation

Proposal for bonuses only for those with no patients that abort

12 May, 12:47

    (ANSAmed) - LISBON, MAY 12 - A proposal in Portugal that would result in family doctors getting lower pay state bonuses for having patients who undergo a voluntary termination of pregnancy has been rejected, Portuguese media reported on Thursday.

    This week the Portuguese health ministry is assessing new evaluation criteria for the quality of 'Model B' health centers to judge which are the most efficient and which will thus get bonuses for the doctors working at them.

    Among the evaluation criteria proposed was the lack of any voluntary termination of pregnancy and the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), which proponents of the criteria say would show that the center was working effectively in the field of family planning.

    The news led to protests and polemics, especially from organisations and unions of doctors and medical personnel, as well as women's rights groups, who said that the proposal was unacceptable and discriminatory.

    There were concerns that both doctors and women patients could be subjected to pressure over a decision that - those against it said - should instead be free and could depend on many personal circumstances.

    Abortion was made legal in Portugal in 2007 after a referendum. (ANSAmed).

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