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Portugal: Government Establishes Inter-Ministerial Coordination Commission on Ebola

(Oct. 28, 2014) On October 23, 2014, the Portuguese Council of Ministers approved the creation of a commission designed to coordinate the responses to and political decisions on the ebola virus, among all sectors of government. The Inter-Ministerial Commission on the Coordination of the Response to Ebola, headed by the Ministry of Health, will comprise governmental representatives in charge of foreign affairs, national defense, internal administration, and infrastructure and transportation, as well as representatives from the regional councils of Azores and Madeira. (Governo Cria Comissão Inter-Ministerial de Coordenação da Resposta ao Ebola, Governo de Portugal, Ministério da Saúde website (Oct. 23, 2014).)

The creation of the Commission serves to reinforce, at the political level, the coordination work already underway, under the “Response Platform for the Ebola Virus Disease” (Plataforma da Resposta a Doença por Vírus Ebola), which was created by the General Board of Health, the National Institute of Medical Emergencies, the National Institute of Health, Dr. Ricardo Jorge, Infarmed (the national authority that regulates medicines and health products in Portugal) , the regional health administrations, the General Board of Consular Matters and Portuguese Communities, and the Armed Forces, as well as Representatives of Autonomous Regions. (Id.)

The Response Platform was approved on October 15, 2014, during a meeting of the National Council of Public Health. The Platform establishes a hierarchical command that can be adapted according to the evolution of the epidemiological situation. (Direção-Geral da Saúde,Comunicadodo Conselho Nacional de Saúde de 15/10/2014 [Communication of the National Council of Health of 15/10/2014], Director-General of Health website [to access the document, click on “Abrir Documento”].)