“The Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative is very important because we, the Mayors, are the first and the most relevant ones to unravel the inequalities in our societies. As a Mayor, I have engaged with local communities and civil society to tackle poverty and fight social inequalities, and developed several programmes to help the low-income families.”
– Mayor Ricardo Rio
Ricardo Rio has been the Mayor of Braga since 2013, the third largest city of Portugal. He was first elected to public office in 2005 as a City Councilmen and City Assemblymen of Braga Municipality. He was also the President of Social Democratic Party of Braga and a member of Social Democratic Party’s National Political Committee.
He is a leading politician in Portugal and is currently the President of Galicia-North of Portugal Euroregion, and the President of the Intermunicipality Community of Cavado.
Prior to being elected Mayor, he had a career in the private sector and was the General Secretary of the Portuguese Association of Financial Analysts and the Director at Euronext Lisbon, a Capital Market Institute. He also worked as a consultant in business and governance with several leading Portuguese companies and public institutions.
As the Portuguese public health care system does not cover dental health care, low-income families face a big problem. To tackle this issue, the Municipality of Braga developed a programme to help vulnerable populations have access to dental care, in partnership with an NGO.
This programme has three axes of intervention: prevention and promotion of dental health care services for 5 000 children in elementary school; free dental health care to low-income families; and promotion of dental care for the elderly. The Dental Health Care Centre was established to support this programme, where about 6 000 consultations took place annually in the last three years. The users of the programme are mainly children, pregnant teenagers, the unemployed, and the elderly registered at social institutions.