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Oral Health Systems in Portugal, Sweden, and Romania

The Oral health care system has seen many changes, over the past few years, around Europe. Each country has a different organizational plan, regarding Oral health care. Three characteristic examples of the evolution of the healthcare systems, are those of Portugal Sweden and Romania.

Different countries, different systems

Nowadays, Romania’s Oral Health Care System is overseen by the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the National Insurance House. After the Health Reform Law in 2006, Romania started using a health insurance system. The system establishes a principal in which citizens contribute according to their income. For the Romanian Oral Health System, this is a big improvement, considering the 1989 Semashko Health System.

The Swedish Oral Health Care System has been rather different. In 1974, during the establishment of the Swedish welfare system, a dental health care law was passed, making dentistry services free for children and young adults, from the age of 3 to 19. Sweden’s dental insurance has undergone three major changes, since then. The reform of 1999, brought cardinal changes by establishing municipalization of the dental health care for the elderly, the disabled and the ill.

Room for improvement in oral health care

The Oral Health Care System of Portugal was, virtually nonexistent until 1974. Fragments of Health Services of varying nature, with only a little government intervention, were the only health care system Portugal had, at the time. After the democratization of 1974, the National Health System (NHS) was established in Portugal. That system gave everyone access to public health insurance. It was not until later, in 1986 that the oral health system started. So, for the first time, in 1986 the ‘Oral Health in School Health Program’’ was created.

The program focused on educating and promoting oral health and fluoride administration. The same program was renewed in 1999 as the ‘’Oral Health Promotion Program for Children and Adolescents’’ from ages 0 to 16, emphasizing the Promotion of oral health in schools and families. The oral health care system of Portugal keeps changing, to this day, improving its results and getting more people into the original idea of the NHS.

In cases like the oral health care system, patience is important. “Rome was not built in one day”. The oral health care system of a country requires time. It could take a bit longer but all countries have the ability to improve and enhance their oral health care. Provided that they have the right strategy and the right resources, to do it.

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