Decreto-Lei n.º 13/2018

Publicação: Diário da República n.º 40/2018, Série I de 2018-02-26
  • Emissor:Saúde
  • Tipo de Diploma:Decreto-Lei
  • Número:13/2018
  • Páginas:1077 - 1085
  • ELI:
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Summary in plain english (Without legal value)

What is it?

This decree-law defines new rules for medical internship.

Medical internship is the postgraduate medical training that medical graduates and masters need to complete to practice their profession.

What will change?

General training will once again be part of the medical internship

The medical internship will have two branches:

  • general training
  • specialised training.
  • General training lasts 12 months. It is theoretical and practical training that prepares resident doctors to be autonomous in their profession. After finishing the general training successfully they can practice medicine.

    Specialised training is theoretical and practical training that prepares resident doctors to practice medicine in one of the areas of specialisation defined by the medical internship regulations.

    The programs for general and specialised training will be defined and updated by decree of the government official responsible for health. They will be proposed by the Order of Physicians and the National Council of Resident Doctors must be consulted. The programs must outline:

    • goals
    • contents
    • activities
    • total and partial duration of the training periods
    • timing, methods and evaluation criteria.

    New rules for medical internship applications will be defined

    The admission to medical internship will be done by tender, which opens every year in the third quarter. All those with a bachelor's or master's degree in medicine can apply.

    The process has the following phases:

    1. application and admission to tender
    2. admission examination to specialised training (when applying for specialised training)
    3. choosing a service for general training
    4. admission into general training
    5. choosing a specialty or service
    6. admission into specialised training
    7. changing specialty or place of training by tender.

    Candidates must indicate whether they are applying for general or specialised training.

    Candidates who have successfully completed general training (in Portugal or in another country with equivalent training given by the Order of Physicians) must apply directly for specialised training.

    The vacancies available for general training and specialised training will be defined by order of the government official responsible for the areas of finance, public administration and health.

    The vacancy list for specialised training can identify preferred vacancies for certain specialties and in poor locations.

    Resident doctors can apply for another internship

    The medical internship must be carried out at the place where the doctor is placed. If they wish to change internship (area of ​​specialisation and/or training location), the resident doctor can apply for another internship.

    There will be new rules for changing specialisation

    Resident doctors may change the area of ​​specialisation by tender. They may need to change because of health reasons.

    There will be two ways of changing areas by tender:

    1. applying for another area of ​​specialisation through special openings (5% of the total available vacancies that year), if the doctors are still in the first half of the specialised training period
    2. withdrawing from the specialised training by 31 May of the year in which they wish to apply (they must have already passed the first half of the specialised training period).

    There will be new rules for internship work

    The schedules for resident doctors will be defined by the hospital, service or entity responsible for training, taking into account:

    • working arrangement of the specialised medical career
    • activities and training goals.

    Resident doctors cannot work more than 12 hours per week in emergency rooms, intensive care units, intermediate care units and other similar units. These 12 hours per week must be completed in a single shift and they cannot be divided in different shifts.

    This type of work has to comply with the rules of the specialised medical career regarding:

    • rest between workdays
    • rest to compensate for night shifts
    • rest to compensate for the work done on weekly rest days and holidays.

    Resident doctors can only work overtime in these services if it is indispensable to ensure the normal functioning of the services. These overtime hours cannot exceed 12 hours per week and must be completed in a single shift.

    Resident doctors who practice high-performance sports and are enrolled at the National Institute for Sports and Youth can benefit from special work schedules allowing them to reconcile internship and sports.

    Resident doctors can repeat the final exam

    If resident doctors do not succeed in the final exam they can attend intensive training until the next final exam.

    Resident doctors can request academic credit transfer

    Resident doctors can request academic credits to be transferred from other internships or parts of internships, provided they comply with the rules of medical internship.

    For specialised training, credits may only be transferred if the internships or parts of internships have been completed in specialised training (even if in another area) where the resident doctor has obtained the qualification of specialist in a Member State of the European Union or the European Economic Area.

    The credits cannot be more than half of the period of specialised training of the resident doctor.

    Mentors must be doctors from the hospital staff

    The training mentors must be doctors who have at least a specialist degree and are part of the hospital or health service staff where the resident is placed.

    What are its benefits?

    This decree-law is intended to:

    • ensure the high quality of postgraduate medical training
    • bring back the Foundation Year under the new name of General Training
    • adjust the rules on medical internship to the needs of resident doctors, the reality of the Health System and public health policies
    • overcome difficulties in the current system and introduce innovations that meet the social reality
    • develop healthcare provision.

    When does it come into effect?

    This decree-law comes into effect the first working day of the month after being published.

    This text is intended to present the content of the legal act in accessible, plain and understandable language for citizens. The summary of the legal act in plain language has no legal value and does not replace the consultation of the legal act in the Diário da República.