150 cancer screenings “delayed” by faulty equipment at Lisbon’s flagship IPO

It is the centre for cancer treatment in Portugal but the truth is that eight out of 10 specialist screening machines are “out of order” at Lisbon’s IPO (Instituto Português de Oncologia), resulting in the delay of at least 150 colonoscopy exams.

As around 3,000 people in Portugal are recorded as dying from colorectal cancers every year (that’s an average of 10 every day), the good news is that the outmoded machines are not going to be repaired. They are scheduled for replacement by much better ones, and this is what is causing exams to be delayed.

“The process of buying equipment takes a long time,” Dias Pereira, director of IPO’s gastroenterology department explained.

“The machines each cost between €20,000-25,000, but we are in the final phase now and should receive them by the end of June.”

The new machines should be “state-of-the-art”, capable even of performing tests on children, Pereira added.

Explaining that his department’s screening equipment is used intensively, he stressed that although tests have been delayed, any patient needing urgent exams has received them.

The others have been “referred” to dates that are still “clinically acceptable”, he told reporters.

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