DEMOS Project. Ombudsman Office promotes studies on access to Health in the Azores and Social Housing in Madeira

The DEMOS Project, integrated in the INTERREG 2014-2020 programme and financed by the European Regional Development Fund FEDER, aims to foster activities designed to increase the levels of development and socio-economic integration of the outermost regions of Portugal and Spain, composed of the archipelagos of Madeira, the Azores and the Canary Islands.

Within the scope of the Ombudsman’s participation in this project, initiatives have been undertaken to (i) increase knowledge and accessibility to regional institutions, (ii) improve efficiency and effectiveness in the service to citizens and (iii) /a/ increase a culture of transparency, efficiency and effectiveness in public administration.

Throughout the DEMOS Project, the Ombudsman’s Office identified, in each of the Portuguese Autonomous Regions, issues that it considered warranted a more in-depth approach.

To this end, the University of the Azores was entrusted with the study on “Access to the Regional Health System – Autonomous Region of the Azores” [in Portuguese only], led by Professor Piedade Lalanda, and the University of Madeira was entrusted with the study on the “Implementation of Public Policies on Social Housing in the Autonomous Region of Madeira” [in Portuguese only], under the scientific coordination of Professor António Almeida and Professor Susana Teles.

The Studies, now disclosed in electronic format and which will be the object of a public presentation in the second semester of 2021, allow for the identification of the main challenges in the development of regional policies regarding the themes they address. It is important to highlight that the conclusions of this scientific work, developed and meritorious, do not necessarily reflect the position of the Ombudsman, but rather constitute an essential contribution to a systematic analysis of the realities portrayed, promoting a joint reflection on them, in order to realise the fundamental rights to health and housing in the Portuguese Autonomous Regions.