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EACEA National Policies Platform


7. Health and Well-Being

7.2 Administration and governance

Last update: 28 November 2023



The complexity and scope of the programmes and policies in the field of health and well-being comprises a wide range of actors and authorities, in a intersectoral and inter-ministerial scope of action.


In the field of Health

In Portugal, the Ministry of Health (MS) is responsible for the development and coordination of the National Health Service. The Ministry is responsible for the design and implementation of policies in the field of health, regulating the management of resources, services and equipment in the field of healthcare.  The Directorate-General of Health (DGS) is the entity under the Ministry of Health authority that is responsible for the coordination of the National Health Plan, which constitutes most of the measures and programmes that develop measures targeted at the young population. Under the National Health Plan, twelve Priority Health Programmes and eleven Health Programmes were created to address specific health determinants and/or health conditions.

The Priority Health Programmes involve a broad range of public and private entities in their implementation, involving, among others, the Directorate-General of Health  in coordination with the Regional Health Administrations (ARS), the ones responsible for the promotion and development of priority strategies of each programme at the local level, in articulation with the respective Groups of Health Centres (ACES), Local Health Units (ULS), hospital services and other structures at the regional level.

All measures developed and aimed at the school environment involve the Ministry of Education, and the Directorate-General of Education, which are responsible for the measures related to formal education and curriculum development and School Sport.

The Ministry of Education, in turn, integrates the Office of the Secretary of State of Youth and Sport which is responsible for the Portuguese Institute for Youth and Sport, I.P. (IPDJ). This Institute assumes a role of intersection in different fields and in articulation with several Ministries, both as a coordinator or as a partner in several information and awareness-raising measures and programmes in the field of health and well-being of young people.


In the field of sport activity

The Portuguese Institute for Youth and Sport,  (IPDJ,I.P), under the supervision of the Office of the Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, is the entity responsible for most of the programmes and measures to promote sport, framed in the National Sports for All Programme (PNDpT), and of the support services to the physical and sporting activity, such as the management of sports spaces, also having tutelage over the federated and high income sports.

The implementation of policies in the field of health, well-being and sport aimed at young people still encompasses a wide range of non-governmental organisations, private entities and Private Institutions of Social Solidarity (IPSS).


Cross-sectorial cooperation


Under the National Strategy for the Promotion of Physical Activity, Health and Well-being (ENPAF), the public policies for the promotion and implementation of measures in the field of health and well-being work in a intersectoral and inter-ministerial cooperation logic, according to the programmes and measures typology and their scopes of action.

The cooperation involves a wide range of public bodies and national and international non-governmental entities, in order to create synergies and joint projects, boosting the capabilities and resources of each one of them.

In 2017, the Government led a conducive process to the formation of a Intersectoral Commission for the Physical Activity Promotion, whose objective is to elaborate, operationalize and monitor a National Action Plan for Physical Activity, comprised of representatives from the field of  Science and Higher Education, Education, Sport, Employment, Inclusion and Health.