Macao Conference Ambassador

July 10, 2017

Macao is no longer administered by Portugal, but there is still a lot of Portuguese flavour in this Chinese territory. Perhaps these long lasting ties influenced my decision to accept the invitation to be Ambassador of Congresses in Macao.

I received the invitation from the Secretary for Economic Affairs and Finance of the Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region, Dr. Leong Vai Tac, that honoured me greatly. The mission of supporting the promotion of Macao as a privileged destination for holding business events and congresses, and at the same time promoting dental medicine, did not leave me indifferent.

I know this region well, I can see its potential. As the old Macao saying “he who drinks the water from the Lilau fountain, will not leave Macao”, I know well this constant desire to return, to see for myself the development and the growing dimension of Macao. It is a bit of this breathing in Macao that made me accept this invitation.

Macao is infinite in diversity. From the magnificent casinos, to the beaches, to the miscellany of cultures and gastronomy, to monuments, to the frenzy of people who come and go every day from Macao, our arms are not long enough to grasp this whole cultural, economic and Human dimension. Is there another place like this?

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Macau já não é de Portugal, mas ainda há muito sabor português neste território chinês. Talvez por estes laços que teimam perpetuar aceitei o convite para ser Embaixador de Congressos em Macau.

Recebi o convite do Excelentíssimo Secretário para a Economia e Finanças do Governo da Região Administrativa Especial de Macau, Dr. Leong Vai Tac, que muito me honrou. A missão de apoiar a promoção de Macau como destino privilegiado para a realização de eventos empresariais e congressos, e em simultâneo promover a medicina dentária, não me deixou indiferente.

Conheço bem esta região, conheço o seu potencial. Como diz o velho ditado macaense “quem bebe a água da fonte do Lilau, não mais deixará Macau”, sei bem desta vontade constante de querer voltar, de ver o desenvolvimento e a dimensão crescente de Macau. É um pouco deste respirar Macau que me fez aceitar este convite.

Macau tem uma infinita diversidade de ofertas. Desde os magníficos casinos, às praias, a miscelânea de culturas e gastronomia, monumentos, o frenesim de pessoas que todos os dias entram e saem de Macau, enfim os nossos braços são curtos para apanhar todo este movimento, toda esta dimensão cultural, económica e humana. Haverá outro lugar como este?


Meeting with Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa

March 27, 2017

As president of CNOP – National Council of Professional Orders, representing 16 professional orders and more than 320,000 professionals registered therein, we had a meeting with Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa.

This Council was, until a few years ago, designated as National Council of Liberal Professions.

My reflection, as president of CNOP – National Council of Professional Orders, to the Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa was based on liberal professions and the need for a common definition of “liberal profession” both in Portugal and in Europe and a correspondent representation at a political level.

According to the European Economic and Social Committee where CNOP is represented:

“A liberal profession is characterised by: provision of a valuable intangible service that is distinctly intellectual in nature, based on advanced (academic) training; a service that is in the public interest; substantive and economic independence in executing tasks; provision of services in a personal capacity, on the provider’s own responsibility and in a professionally independent manner; a particular relationship of trust between the client and the service provider; a focus on providing the best possible service rather than on maximising profit; and compliance with precise, strict professional regulations and codes of professional ethics.”


From left to right, me, prime minister António Costa, and the host of the meeting, president of the Solicitors and Enforcement Agents Order, José Carlos Resende.

In the European Union, liberal professions play a significant role in establishing and maintaining key social infrastructure. Approximately one in six self-employed people work in sectors dominated by liberal professions, and that figure is rising. The same is true of one in six employees.

More than one euro in 10 of gross value added comes from sectors dominated by liberal professions.

The economic contribution of liberal professions to EU’s GDP is around 12.8% and accounts for more than 10% of employment.

In Portugal, liberal professions are an endangered species if not in the path to extinction. Take the example of the profession I represent: approximately 97% of dentists are liberal professionals, either employed or self-employed, with the autonomy and independence recognized by the profession.

We are 10.000 and account for the employment of 25,000 people, among dental assistants, technicians, hygienists and administrative assistants, etc.

Our income corresponds to 11 months work, and expenses to 12 or 14 months, including equipment, materials, insurance, taxes, etc. not to mention work hours.

We don’t have the classical protection with regards to unemployment, illness, maternity, retirement, or incapacity to work.

We need effective representation in social dialogue. Professionals regulated by Professional Orders, more than 320.000, have no place in the framework of social dialogue, as do unions, companies, commerce and private employers.

Liberal professions need to be heard, especially those represented by Professional Orders in Portugal.


A selected audience of representatives of the orders.


Group photo at the end of the meeting.

 


Thank you to Portuguese Dentistry! 25 Congress Editions of the Portuguese Dental Association

December 20, 2016

From the 10th to the 12th November Ordem dos Médicos Dentistas (Portuguese Dental Association) organized its annual congress, in Porto. This year we celebrated 25 years of congress, a milestone for Portuguese dental medicine. Already a recognized brand!

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Total congress participants – 3 686
Number of scientific presentations – 161
Hands-on courses – 95
Number of entries at Expo-Dentária – 12 404

Since 1992, when the first Portuguese Dental Congresses took place, the affirmation and credibility of dental medicine as a regulated profession increased in Portugal over the years. During those years, Portuguese dentists shared the passionate dedication to dental medicine that made all the difference in the affirmation and growth of this Congress that nowadays is visited by more than 12 thousand participants.

It is always a huge effort, given that the organization is mostly composed by volunteers, but at the end we are filled with an enormous pride and feeling of mission accomplished!

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OMD congress is also an important moment to create closer ties between colleagues from different parts of the world.

As such, we organized a round table discussion concerning “Regulation in Dentistry: Recognition of Professional Qualifications”, where we had as guests/speakers: Andrew I Spielman (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs NYU); Gilbert Bouteille, (President of the National Association of Dental Surgeons in France); Gerhard Seeberger (FDI – World Dental Federation Speaker); Marco Landi (President of the Council of European Dentists); Óscar Castro Reino (President of the Spanish General Dental Council); Cédric Grolleau (Jurist of the National Association of Dental Surgeons in France); Filipa Carvalho Marques (Director of OMD’s Legal Department), and me as OMD President.

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Can health be seen as a common economic activity? It was the main idea and the question that launched the debate.

The opinions of the speakers in this short coverage video:

At the Opening Ceremony we had the presence of the Secretary of State Assistant and of Health, Fernando Araújo and guests from national and international institutions and ambassadors.

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(…) “Even in 1963, the year I was born, Bob Dylan wrote in the chorus of the song that was to become a true anthem, “(…) times are changing …”

They were, of course! Maybe at a more sociologic level, regarding habits and behaviours.

Then, as now, times continue to change…

We are currently experiencing a time of profound changes, levered essentially by globalization, currently in course, the internet and new communication and information technologies, among others.” (…)

See full speech here (pdf)

“For the times they are a-changing” we have to be ready!

The course of dental regulation in Portuguese-speaking countries was also another focus at OMD congress. Challenges faced by dentists of the Portuguese-speaking countries are very different but still very important to share experiences and opinions, in view of the population’s increasing demand for quality oral health care.

Portuguese-speaking Dental Association Forum: Representatives of the profession and industry from Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Portugal.

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In addition to the scientific and social professional programme, Expo-Dentária occurs simultaneously, a dental equipment and material exhibition that boasts more than 12 thousand participants, and is currently the greatest oral health exhibition in Portugal. Expo-Dentária’s official opening was held in the morning with a flash mob for everyone’s surprise.

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As a passionate runner, I highlight the moment when we received the Portuguese Winner Ultrarunner Carlos Sá at our congress. To overcome everyday challenges, we have to be resilient. Do not give up on obstacles. Carlos Sá, winner of the 2013 Badwater Ultramarathon, California (217 km) in 24:38min, is an inspiration.

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Meeting with new Portuguese President of Republic

May 4, 2016

CNOP (National Council of the Portuguese Professional Orders) was received in audience (April 28th 2016) by the recently elected President of the Portuguese Republic (election held last January), Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, at his official residence, Palácio de Belém, in Lisbon.

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As CNOP’s President, I would like to express my appreciation for the words that the President addressed to me and to all of the Portuguese Professional Associations, highlighting the important role of liberal professions and qualified professionals regulated by the Professional Associations in Portugal.

The President of the Republic stressed CNOP’s role as a social partner and the need to enhance this position.

All the Presidents of the Professional Associations present had the opportunity to present the President of the Republic their views regarding human resources training in the respective qualified professions and its impact in employability.

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Lastly, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa shared his detailed views on the current national and international politics.

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The audience lasted approximately two and a half hours. At the end, CNOP’s President and President of the Portuguese Dental Association, offered the President of Republic, on behalf of CNOP, a case with the pins and logotypes of each of the Professional Orders.


Reelected President of the Portuguese Dental Association

January 15, 2016

On the 9th January the swearing-in ceremony of the new governing bodies of the Portuguese Dental Association, took place, in Lisbon, at Palace Foz.

I am happy to inform that the single candidate list that I submitted, was elected, by general assembly, on the 15th December 2015 for a further four year mandate, with myself as President. Under PDA’s new statutes the governing bodies now have a General Council, composed of 50 members that represent all regions throughout Portugal.

We have new challenges ahead, and new commitments and therefore will be very busy in contributing to the improvement of Oral Health Care in Portugal!

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Sumptuous interior of the XVIII century Palace Foz, revivalist style located at Lisbon downtown.

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From left to right, Paulo Ribeiro de Melo (former secretary general and member of the new General Council), Luís Filipe Correia (president of Ethics Council), Orlando Monteiro da Silva (President/bastonário), Fernando Araújo (secretary of State Assistant and of Health), João Caramês (president of the General Assembly) e Ana Cristina Mano Azul (president of the Fiscal Council).

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The ceremony took place in Lisbon. Was attended by numerous representatives from the Portuguese profissional associations and politicians like Teresa Caeiro, vice president of the Portuguese Parliament, Carlos César, leader of the Socialist Group at the Parliament (Government party), and António Correia de Campos, former Ministry of Health, among other academic, professional and scientific personalities.

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Closing speech.


Portuguese Dental Association Annual Congress

November 20, 2015

The Portuguese Dental Association held its annual congress from the 12 to the 13th November at Meo Arena in Lisbon. The 24th edition of PDA’s congress registered 84 lecturers, 108 posters and 10 730 participants. Expo Dentaria, which is held simultaneously with the congress, boasted 118 companies, representing a total of 390 stands.

These numbers just go to show that this year’s congress was one of the best ever in the history of PDA!

I would like to share with you some of the highlights of this events:

The venue for this year’s congress, situated near the river Tejo, made everything more pleasable:

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The opening ceremony of the congress, with the presence of the former President of the Republic Jorge Sampaio, and the Minister of Health, in functions at the time, Fernando Leal da Costa.

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Jorge Sampaio

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Fernando Leal da Costa

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Orlando Monteiro da Silva

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Opening ceremony audience

The scientific sessions always gathered a significant audience, reflecting the quality and interest of the lectures.

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A look at our Expo-Dentária dental fair:

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See you next year in Porto where the 25th edition of the Portuguese Dental Association Congress will be celebrated!


Honoured by my city. Thank You Porto!

July 12, 2015

“It was with great surprise and an even greater honour that I received the Gold Medal of Merit of my city. A city that is also closely linked to Dental Medicine as it has been the headquarters of the Portuguese Dental Association (PDA), since the foundation, in 1991. Even before that when the Profession was not yet autonomously organized, at those days together with the physicians. I receive it on behalf of all my fellow dentists and of all our collaborators at PDA.” These were my first words. The honour I felt was not only at a personal level, but it was also like a collective feeling of pride in representing the dental medicine profession.

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The Gold Medal of Merit of the Municipality of Porto is awarded to citizens and institutions that have distinguished themselves through personal merit or civic accomplishments.

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Receiving the Gold Medal of Merit by the Municipality of Porto, at the public ceremony held last 9 july.

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The Pergola is one of the iconic images of Porto. A large sidewalk by the Atlantic sea.

Thank you Porto!