Ordem dos Psicólogos

Ministry of Health eliminates services guaranteed by Psychologists


The Ordem dos Psicólogos Portugueses (OPP) is outraged at the Ministry of Health's lack of action in relation to recent events surrounding the termination of the contracts of 23 psychologists, on the 31st July 2010, who are currently at the service of Hospital de Júlio de Matos, in Lisbon.
For years, these psychologists have been subject to precarious working conditions, promoted by the Ministry of Health itself, with successive contracts without any official ties to the entity, in a scenario of inequality, without any guarantees of continuing or any competitions being opened for career internships since 2001.
It is absolutely incomprehensible that the public services provided by psychologists, which cover approximately 160.000 people, are placed at risk due to career and contract issues, of the sole and exclusive responsibility of the Ministry of Health. It is extremely urgent for the mental health of the general population to be safeguarded, through exemplary measures in professional practice and the promotion of adequate auxiliary strategies.
The Ordem dos Psicólogos Portugueses deems it unacceptable that the Ministry of Health has jeopardised the services provided by psychologists to several thousand people and that it has allowed there to be the possibility of the closure of essential services, which are currently in operation, based on legal and contract details that shall cause more damage to the Portuguese population than to the psychologists themselves.
Therefore, the Ordem dos Psicólogos deems it essential for there to be a rapid response by the Minstry of Health, in correcting this situation, guaranteeing the Psychologists necessary for the normal operation of the mental health services, safeguarding the mission and public interest of their work, before the general public.