Direção-Geral da Saúde - EPIET

EPIET/ EUPHEM institute acknowledged by EPIET available for next EPIET cohort
Alameda D. Afonso Henriques, 45 - 2º, PT-1049 005 Lisboa

Contact person

Description of the institute

The Directorate-General of Health (DGS) is a central service of the Ministry of Health responsible for the regulation, guidance and coordination of activities linked to essential public health operations at the national level (surveillance, monitoring, health promotion and protection, disease prevention and control). DGS also defines the technical conditions for the adequate provision of quality healthcare in Portugal’s health system.

DGS supports the National Health Authority in the exercise of its responsibilities and the management of the public health network, including coordination of national public health surveillance of communicable diseases and appropriated alert and response systems for national and international public health emergencies. It endorses the coordination of epidemic intelligence for early detection of public health threats and risk assessment; management and communication at national level and within the international framework, under the coordination of the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (CESP). Public health surveillance activities are coordinated at national level by the Directorate of Information and Analysis (DSIA), which also provides input to help guide public health practice; evaluate interventions; conduct epidemiological studies, and develop evidence-based recommendations for surveillance, prevention and control of communicable diseases and guidance for best practices.

The DGS is a national training site for medical doctors’ specialty training (residency) in the areas of public health, infectious diseases, general and family medicine and paediatrics. It is also a competent training site for pre-graduate medical students and fellows (including foreign trainees from Portuguese-speaking countries) studying for a Masters in Public Health or Masters in Statistics and Hospital Administration.

Training opportunities

The DGS is located in central Lisbon, coordinating the national public health network by directly interacting with the regional departments of public health in five national regions and two autonomous regions, supporting the national health authority. The subnational network of public health authorities, directly linked to the Portuguese National Health Service, provides multiple and diversified opportunities for intervention epidemiology training at regional and local level all over the country, in multisectoral contexts and in proximity to different communities.

The EPIET fellow will be based mainly within the Division of Epidemiology and Statistics of the DSIA at the DGS in Lisbon, collaborating with the CESP and other units from DGS, with the possibility to perform some of the following activities:

  • Support surveillance activities for notifiable communicable diseases, including data analysis and the interpretation and reporting of the information;
  • Access electronic platforms of real-time surveillance for mandatory notifiable diseases and mortality;
  • Support epidemic intelligence and event-based monitoring activities for early detection and response to outbreaks;
  • Integrate national, regional or local teams conducting outbreak investigations (cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries and with GOARN may also facilitate participation in international outbreak investigation);
  • Collaborate on the production of national reports on notifiable disease surveillance in Portugal;
  • Design and implement applied research study protocols, including studies of interest to support national guidance such as the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group;
  • Publish and present the results of the studies conducted within the fellowship;
  • Collaborate in the monitoring and evaluation of the national vaccination programme and other national priority health programmes linked to communicable diseases (e.g. tuberculosis, HIV, sexually transmitted infections, hepatitis, antimicrobial resistance/healthcare-associated infections);
  • Set up enhanced surveillance programmes;
  • Participate in the evaluation of public health activities, mainly in the event of public health emergencies.

According to a specific training programme, tailored to personal needs in order to achieve all the EPIET goals, fellows can also develop activities at other partner institutions:

  • Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública (National School of Public Heatlh) and Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa (Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon University) to teach classes to medical students or masters students in the areas of epidemiology and public health;
  • Instituto Nacional de Saúde Doutor Ricardo Jorge (National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge):
    • Planning, implementation and/or improvement of laboratory-based surveillance;
    • Interpretation of the diagnosis and epidemiological significance of reports from laboratory tests, including molecular tests;
    • Evaluation of laboratory-based surveillance.
  • Regional Health Administrations (ARS):
    • Regional and local public health departments, units and hospitals for outbreak investigation, local risk assessment and reporting.

Language requirements

Most people living in the main Portuguese cities speak and understand English. The working language in the DGS is Portuguese, although English is also accepted. The fellow must therefore be fluent in written and spoken English. Learning Portuguese is encouraged as these language skills will offer a significant advantage when working at national and local levels, as well as for international cooperation with other Portuguese-speaking countries.

Training supervision

Supported by a team of epidemiological facilitators with experience in epidemiology and training (including EPIET alumni with more than eight former fellows available to support the stages of the fellowship) from junior to senior staff, the fellow will be fully integrated into the DGS.

Training history

Number of fellows trained at the institute: nine (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2019 and 2021).

Number of fellows currently in training: one (cohort 2022: EU-Track).

Number of EPIET alumni working at or collaborating with the institute: three.

Page last updated: 24 May 2021