By 2014-01-11 InPortugal

Hospital waiting lists spiral out of control

Christmas and the New Year saw massive holiday backlogs in hospitals throughout the country, with newspapers reporting on patients waiting up to 49 hours to be admitted in some areas, and casualties taking up to 18 hours to be seen by a doctor.

In an interview with Correio da Manhã, Dr José Manuel Silva of the Bastonário dos Médicos (doctors’ association) intimated that “poor patients are condemned” as “access to health services is more and more difficult”, while the humanitarian union of patients with cancer (UHDC) also complained that breast cancer sufferers are forced to wait far too long for treatment and exams.

The newspaper also put great store on the lack of colonoscopy exams for sufferers of bowel cancer – “11 of whom die every 24 hours in Portugal”.

Nonetheless, in the Algarve, hospital administrator Pedro Nunes at the state hospital in Portimão said the festive delays that dogged his service are finally sorting themselves out.

“You mustn’t believe everything you read in the newspapers,” he told the Algarve Resident. “We’re doing the best we can and in the case of waiting lists here, everything is running as normal.”

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