Algarve’s much-maligned hospital management system ‘here to stay’

Portugal’s Parliament has rejected two proposals to ditch the Algarve’s unpopular CHA hospital management system.

The bids were presented on Thursday (March 31) by the Left Bloc (BE) and the Communist Party (PCP) and rejected by the PS, PSD and CDS-PP.

Left-wingers say they are surprised and dismayed by the Socialists’ change of heart.

As the PCP pointed out, in 2013 and 2014 the PS voted in favour of two proposals to do away with the CHA system – in charge of the Algarve’s three hospitals (Faro, Portimão and Lagos).

Even last month, Health Minister Adalberto Fernandes said the system was a “failure” and an “example of everything that should not be done” (click here).

But when Fernandes officially presented the members of the region’s new hospital (click here), it became clear he did not think it is the system that was at fault, but the people in charge of it.

The Socialists have since appealed to left wingers to give the new board a chance, saying that “what was undone and destroyed in four years cannot be fixed in three weeks”.

“Instead of discussing whether or not the CHA system should continue, we should focus on improving the quality and efficiency at the Algarve’s hospitals,” explained the Algarve branch of the party.

This attitude cut no ice with Left Bloc allies.

They say it is “incomprehensible and lamentable” that the government “won’t keep its word” and instead insists on retaining “an inadequate management system in the Algarve”.

While BE agrees that “some positive steps have been taken to improve health care in the Algarve,” it claims “more has to be done”.

“The region’s hospital services have to be reinforced and improved with new doctors, nurses and health professionals.”

If they aren’t, the “degrading conditions” at Algarve hospitals will continue, they warn.

PCP communists are just as critical, blaming the CHA system for “the worsening of the Algarve’s health services” and calling on people and hospital staff to continue fighting for its abolition.

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