Laparoscopy tower
Laparoscopy tower

Algarve Rotary clubs make final push to raise money for vital laparoscopy tower

Rotary clubs in the Algarve are making a final push to raise the €100,000 needed to purchase a laparoscopy tower for Portimão Hospital.

So far, around €83,000 has already been raised in less than one year through a long list of events and donations.

“It’s a commendable achievement,” Portimão Rotary Club president, Nuno Silva, told the Resident this week.

But around €17,000 are still needed to purchase the state-of-the-art medical device, an all-in-one-unit with several medical devices that allow surgeons to carry out “countless less invasive procedures guided by a video camera”.

“With this medical device, patients will recover from operations in a much shorter period of time,” said former Portimão Rotary club president and current vice-president, Marco Barreiros.

Arnaud ran over 175km in less than 36 hours to raise funds
Arnaud ran over 175km in less than 36 hours to raise funds

With a laparoscopy tower, surgeries are less invasive, patients are left with much smaller scars as a result, the risk of infections is reduced and returning to normal life is a much easier process, they say.

As Nuno and Marco explain, the device will also lead to a general improvement of medical care provided in the Algarve as patients will spend less time occupying much-needed hospital beds – particularly at Portimão Hospital, where hospital beds are an even scarcer commodity.

“This is a project that will be beneficial to everyone – we will be alleviating the hospital services in Faro and creating conditions for the people who live in the Western Algarve (Barlavento) to be treated in Portimão, guaranteeing access to medical care for more people in a shorter period of time,” explains Nuno Silva.

Boogie Woogie concert at Portimão Arena on April 30
Boogie Woogie concert at Portimão Arena on April 30

They also believe the project will help improve the Algarve’s image in the eyes of tourists and foreign residents, who single out the region’s public health sector fragilities as one of its biggest issues.

The Rotary clubs also believe the laparoscopy tower will help fixate health professionals at Portimão Hospital.

“The hospital has a strong inability to attract and maintain interns. Health professionals who receive their degree and specialise in surgery do not want to work at a hospital that does not have this medical device, as they were already trained to work with it,” stresses Marco.

The project is backed by every single Rotary club in the Algarve: Lagos (which presented and leads the project); Praia da Rocha; Portimão; Lagoa International; Silves; Porches; Albufeira, Estói Palace International; Almancil International; Faro, Loulé; Olhão; and Tavira.

Masked Soiree in Silves on February 22
Masked Soiree in Silves on February 22

Why a laparoscopy tower?

The project was presented by Rotary Club Lagos, following the same procedure carried out by every Rotary club which contacts local institutions at the start of the ‘Rotary year’ to find out what their biggest needs are.

“In this case, the hospital board was consulted which identified the lack of a laparoscopy tower as a vital shortcoming,” said Marco Barreiros, adding that this project was considered “the biggest priority with the most significant impact.”

How to donate?

Donations can be made to the following bank account: Rotary Proj TDL Clubes Algarve, with the following account number (40349777285); IBAN (PT50 0045 7191 40349777285 13) and BIC/SWIFT (CCCMPTPL).

Explains Nuno Silva, the goal of Rotary clubs is not to donate money, but to donate the needed equipment or assets.

“We believe that by working this way, we guarantee that the money is used for the purpose it was raised for,” he told us.

The laparoscopy tower costs around €89,000, plus IVA (part of which will be covered by the hospital).

By Michael Bruxo
michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com