The Algarve Local Health Unit has already been created

It is just one of 31 new ULS created, in addition to the 8 existing ones

New Year New Life. The health sector in Portugal dawned on January 1st of the year 2024 with a new organization, designed to try to facilitate access and movement of users. These are Local Health Units, one of which is in the Algarve, which brings together, under the same administration, the services of the former Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve and the Health Center Groups (ACeS) Algarve I – Central, of the Algarve II – Barlavento and Algarve III – Sotavento.

ACeS were previously supervised by the Regional Health Administration, an entity that is now extinct.

Presiding over the new body – ULSAlg – is now João Ferreira, who, in October, he had been appointed as the new president of the Board of Directors of CHUA (replacing Ana Varges Gomes).

Paulo Neves, who remained as executive member of the CHUA Board, also transitions to the new administration, as do Mariana Santos (nurse director) and José Manuel Lourenço da Silva Almeida (clinical director).

To what Sul Informação was able to ascertain, the administration of ULSAlg does not include any element that has been transferred from the former Regional Health Administration.

João Ferreira, president of the Board of Directors of ULSAlg, published, on January 1st, a note welcoming healthcare professionals to the new structure, in which he highlights that his mission is to guarantee «the best integrated provision of health care, reinforcement of care in the proximity response and the commitment to promoting health for all and for all».

«Only after we integrate the newly constituted ULSAlg and ensure stability and efficiency in our responses in this transition, will we be able to start thinking and implementing together the Health we want for the Algarve», he highlights.

Complementing this change, Portimão, Lagoa and Castro Marim now have new model B Family Health Units (USF), thus increasing the number of people with a family doctor in these three Algarve municipalities.

The first day of 2024 was thus marked by the start of a new phase of the organizational reform of the National Health Service (SNS), namely by the extension of Local Health Units (ULS) to the entire national territory and the generalization of Family Health (USF) model B.

The Ministry of Health defended that «the expansion of ULS to the entire country, basing the SNS on this organizational model, facilitates people's journey through the health system by integrating hospital centers, hospitals, Groups of Health Centers into a single management (ACeS) and the National Continuing Care Network of a given geographic area».

«This integration constitutes a qualification of the SNS response, simplifying processes, increasing coordination between teams of health professionals, focusing on experience and pathways between different levels of care, increasing management autonomy, maximizing access and the efficiency of the SNS», argues the Ministry.

The Algarve Local Health Unit is just one of the 31 new ULS created, in addition to the 8 existing ones.

“The extinction of more than fifty entities is also being prepared, whose responsibilities will now be transferred to the ULS”.

In a note sent to newsrooms, the Ministry supervised by Manuel Pizarro, adds that «ULS allow responding to the needs of citizens, prioritizing proximity, optimization of resources, continuity and integration of care, in the field of prevention, in the care plan , in treatment and provision of care and in recovery and rehabilitation».

This is because, he emphasizes, «the vision of the ULS allows us to look at Health beyond the “borders” of the hospital, valuing Primary Health Care and integrating other institutions of local society, namely municipalities, parish councils, schools and private solidarity institutions social, giving meaning to the idea that Health is a good for everyone and for everyone, building a sustainable community».




At the same time, «in the wake of measures to increase and improve access to health, in the field of Primary Health Care, the generalization of USF increases the number of people with a family doctor and values ​​the professionals in these health units».

In USF model B, professionals receive a base salary and a variable payment, associated with performance, namely by expanding the list of users, providing domiciles and quality access and clinical assistance.

Another major change, according to the Ministry of Health, are the 222 new USF that were created, «allowing 51 municipalities to have, for the first time, a USFB».

In total, there will be 570 USF-B in operation, in 154 of the 278 municipalities on the continent, reaching a historic milestone in the reform of Primary Health Care that began in 2006.

Thus, «a total of 212 USF-A and 10 Personalized Health Care Units – traditional health centers – are transformed into USF-B, which switch to the new model, with the potential to assign family doctors to over 300 thousand users and remuneration impact for more than 3.500 health professionals, including doctors, nurses and clinical secretaries, who now receive incentives associated with the performance of their teams in monitoring users».

The Ministry considers that the measure represents «an important advance in the reform of Primary Health Care in the SNS and reinforces the path towards universalization of a model that guarantees a modern response and proximity to users».

But the news throughout this new year will not stop there. Still in 2024, «the remaining USF-A will be switched to model B, with retroactive effects to January, considering an overall performance rating equal to or greater than 60% in the evaluation of the 2023 financial year».

Finally, the Ministry of Health highlights that the population's increased health and well-being needs, associated with aging, the burden of disease, as well as their growing demands and expectations, require the SNS to continue increasing access and efficiency in the provision of healthcare by fostering organizational models that promote the integrated management of Primary Care and hospital care, ensuring a focus on people».

The expansion of ULS and the generalization of USF is therefore considered «a crucial path towards the requalification of the SNS and to guarantee timely and quality health care for the population, always with the aim of improving health and well-being indicators. in the country".


39 Local Health Units (31 new and 8 existing)

  • Alto Ave ULS: Hospital da Senhora da Oliveira Guimarães with the ACeS of Alto Ave – Guimarães/Vizela/Terras de Basto and the Health Center of Celorico de Basto.
  • ULS of Barcelos/Esposende: Hospital de Santa Maria Maior-Barcelos with the ACeS of Cávado III – Barcelos/Esposende.
  • Braga ULS: Braga Hospital with the ACeS of Cávado I – Braga and Cávado II – Gerês/Cabreira.
  • ULS of Póvoa de Varzim/Vila do Conde: Centro Hospitalar Póvoa de Varzim/Vila do Conde with the ACeS of Greater Porto IV – Póvoa de Varzim/Vila do Conde.
  • ULS do Médio Ave: Centro Hospitalar do Médio Ave with the ACeS of Greater Porto I – Santo Tirso/Trofa and Ave – Famalicão.
  • Tâmega e Sousa ULS: Centro Hospitalar do Tâmega e Sousa with the ACeS of Tâmega I – Baixo Tâmega, with the exception of the Health Center of Celorico de Basto, Tâmega II – Vale do Sousa Norte and Tâmega III – Vale do Sousa Sul.
  • Gaia/Espinho ULS: Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho Hospital Center with the ACeS of Greater Porto VII – Gaia and Greater Porto VIII – Espinho/Gaia.
  • ULS of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro: Hospital Center of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro with ACeS of Trás-os-Montes – Alto Tâmega and Barroso, of Douro I – Marão and Douro Norte and of Douro II – Douro Sul.
  • ULS of Entre Douro and Vouga: Entre o Douro e Vouga Hospital Center with the ACeS of Entre Douro e Vouga I – Feira e Arouca and Entre Douro e Vouga II – Aveiro Norte.
  • ULS of São João: São João University Hospital Center with the ACeS of Greater Porto III – Maia/Valongo and Greater Porto VI – Porto Oriental.
  • Santo António ULS: Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Santo António with the ACeS of Greater Porto II – Gondomar and Greater Porto V – Porto Oeste.
  • ULS of Baixo Mondego: Figueira da Foz District Hospital with the Health Centers of Figueira da Foz, Soure and Montemor-o-Velho.
  • Cova da Beira ULS: Centro Hospitalar Universitário da Cova da Beira with the ACeS of Cova da Beira.
  • ULS of Viseu Dão-Lafões: Centro Hospitalar Tondela-Viseu, with the ACeS of Dão-Lafões.
  • Leiria Region ULS: Leiria Hospital Center with the ACeS of Pinhal Litoral, and the Health Centers of Ourém, Fátima, Alcobaça and Nazaré.
  • Coimbra ULS: Coimbra Hospital and University Center, Arcebispo João Crisóstomo Hospital – Cantanhede and the Rehabilitation Medicine Center of the Central Region – Rovisco Pais, with the ACeS of Pinhal Interior Norte and the Health Centers of Cantanhede, Celas, Eiras, Fernão Magalhães, Norton de Matos, Santa Clara, São Martinho do Bispo, Condeixa-a-Nova, Mealhada, Mira, Mortágua and Penacova.
  • ULS of the Aveiro Region: Centro Hospitalar do Baixo Vouga and Hospital Dr. Francisco Zagalo – Ovar with the ACeS of Baixo Vouga.
  • Amadora/Sintra ULS: Hospital Professor Doutor Fernando Fonseca with the ACeS of Amadora and Sintra.
  • Almada-Seixal ULS: Garcia de Orta Hospital with ACeS Almada-Seixal.
  • Lezíria ULS: Santarém District Hospital with ACeS Lezíria.
  • Tagus Estuary ULS: Vila Franca de Xira Hospital, with the ACeS Tejo Estuary.
  • ULS of Loures-Odivelas: Hospital de Loures with the ACeS Loures-Odivelas, with the exception of the Sacavém Health Center.
  • Santa Maria ULS: Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Lisboa Norte with the ACeS Lisboa Norte and the Mafra Health Center.
  • ULS of São José: Central Lisbon University Hospital Center, Lisbon Psychiatric Hospital Center and Dr. Gama Pinto Institute of Ophthalmology, with ACeS of Central Lisbon and the Sacavém Health Center.
  • ULS do Oeste: Centro Hospitalar do Oeste with ACeS Oeste Sul, with the exception of the Mafra Health Center, and the Bombarral, Caldas da Rainha, Óbidos and Peniche Health Centers.
  • Middle Tagus ULS: Médio Tejo Hospital Center with the Health Centers of Abrantes, Alcanena, Constância, Entroncamento, Ferreira do Zêzere, Mação, Sardoal, Torres Novas, Tomar, Vila Nova da Barquinha and Vila de King.
  • Arrábida ULS: Setúbal Hospital Center with the ACeS of Arrábida.
  • West Lisbon ULS: Western Lisbon Hospital Center with the ACeS Western Lisbon and Oeiras and Cascais.
  • Arco Ribeirinho ULS: Centro Hospitalar Barreiro-Montijo with the ACeS Arco Ribeirinho.
  • Central Alentejo ULS: Hospital do Espírito Santo de Évora with the ACeS of Alentejo Central.
  • Algarve ULS: Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve with the ACeS Algarve I – Central, Algarve II – Barlavento and Algarve III – Sotavento.
  • Eight existing ULS: Matosinhos (1999), Guarda (2008), Baixo Alentejo (2008), Alto Minho (2008), Castelo Branco (2010), Nordeste (2011) and Litoral Alentejano (2012). ULS Norte Alentejano (2007) is now called ULS Alto Alentejo and is part of the Public Health Laboratory of Alto Alentejo.

51 new municipalities with USF-B

• Amarante
• Keys
• Lamego
• Águeda
• Albergaria-a-Velha
• Cabeceiras de Basto
• Elvas
• Mealhada
• Oliveira do Bairro
• Ruler
• Portimão
• Tondela
• Vacancies
• Alcochete
• Alenquer
• Alijó
• Almeirim
• Alpiarça
• Anadia
• Arruda dos Vinhos
• Bigger field
• Castro Marim
• Celorico de Basto
• Estremoz
• Figueiró dos Vinhos
• Golegã
• Guard
• Lagoon
• Me of
• Mesão Frio
• Miranda do Corvo
• Mirandela
• Moimenta da Beira
• Monsoon
• Murça
• Murtosa
• In them
• Nisa
• Oliveira de Frades
• Coura Walls
• Penalva do Castelo
• Barca Bridge
• Portel
• Sabrosa
• Santa Comba Dão
• Santa Marta de Penaguião
• Sines
• Soure
• Bouro Lands
• New Sales
• Vila Nova de Poiares



Read some more!
A strong region needs a strong press and, these days, the press depends on its readers. We make all Sul Infomação content available free of charge, because we believe that it is not through barriers that the public approaches responsible and quality journalism. Therefore, your contribution is essential.  
Contribute here!