The Ponte de Lima Rheumatology Service marks, this February, the 25th anniversary of its foundation, it was announced today.
Founded on February 1, 1995 by doctor João Pimenta, who created the legal conditions to implement a health unit dedicated to the problems of the elderly population with mobility difficulties. In addition to rheumatology, he also conceived the services of physiatry and geriatrics.
Until then, the specialty of rheumatology existed only at Hospital de S. João, in Porto, an institution that formed those who would be the pioneering doctors in the decentralization of this service, Domingos Araújo and Maria do Carmo Afonso.
In 1996 and 1998, doctors Lúcia Costa and Sérgio Alcino joined the service, who, together with the founders, formed the backbone of the service, consolidating the specialty in Ponte de Lima and expanding it to neighboring counties.
Over these 25 years, nine physicians specialized in rheumatology have already been trained in this unit, three of whom are part of the staff of that unit (José António Costa, Filipa Teixeira and Daniela Peixoto). Currently, the service has five interns in specific rheumatology training.
In a statement sent to O MINHO, ULSAM’s rheumatology service welcomes “the possibility” of growth “over the years”, which has allowed “to continue providing medical care in this area of medicine that is often wrongly undervalued ”.
Rheumatology is the medical specialty that aims at medical treatment and the prevention of multiple pathologies that involve the musculoskeletal system. It encompasses chronic inflammatory systemic diseases and several non-traumatic joint and musculoskeletal disorders.
Taken together, rheumatic diseases represent the most frequent group of pathologies in developed countries and constitute one of the main reasons for medical consultation in primary care, being the main cause of absenteeism, disability and early retirement.