Algarve public health issues to be discussed in Parliament

The Independent Union of Doctors (SIM) is due to be heard in Parliament today about the public health issues affecting the Algarve, namely the obstetrics and paediatrics specialties at the hospitals of Faro and Portimão.

Opposition party PSD requested the hearing following the union’s repeated attempts to call attention to these issues.

The constant closures of Portimão’s maternity ward is one of the main subjects that will be addressed and which often sees pregnant women being transferred to hospitals in other regions.

SIM says that it had already alerted in December that “the shortage of paediatricians” was becoming more and more serious, leading hospitals to resort to doctors without specialties or other specialties.

Paediatric A&E departments are often left without one single paediatrician at both hospitals, the union says, while the obstetrics unit is so short on staff that one doctor was once given an 84-hour shift.

“The SNS (national health service) needs substantial measures in order to provide a dignified response to the Portuguese people,” the union says.