12 chiefs of service have resigned today from Beja hospital’s A&E department.
Mirroring similar bloc resignations in other State hospitals around the country, the medical professionals say they no longer have “conditions to treat patients with quality or safety”, overwhelmingly due to a shortage of doctors and ‘excess workload’.
As in all the other situations that have taken place recently – (click here and here and here), the Beja group explain they are taking this action after all warnings and appeals for solutions have fallen on deaf ears.
That this comes as the country is focussed on which political party offers most for the future of Portugal is pivotal. PS Socialists have been at the helm for the last six years; no matter what they may be promising, this is the picture of the State health service: an organisation on its knees.
The bottom line of today’s stand is that the doctors have given authorities ‘two weeks’ to schedule a meeting “between interested parties”.
Two weeks takes us to voting day.
If in all the election campaign hurly burly no-one has time to come up with a date for the meeting, the medics say “additional measures are envisaged”.
Both ‘leading parties’ in the race to the polling booths are keen to get working majorities: this is the kind of issue that focuses people’s attentions: will it be the PS, or the PSD that promise to save the SNS service from its quagmire of underinvestment (click here)?
As for this particular group of doctors, they recognise that the pandemic has “aggravated” the problems suffered in A&E by diverting staff to the point that sometimes the entire service is in the hands of just one pair of hands.
Just in 2021, the doctors performed an average of 600 ‘extraordinary hours’ – meaning overtime. They stress they are suffering from physical and mental exhaustion.
The letter, giving health authorities a clear ultimatum, has been co-signed as a mark of support by six other doctors working at the hospital (but not in A&E).