Animal ‘toilet training’ pads used for patients at Faro Hospital

Animal ‘toilet training’ pads used for patients at Faro Hospital

Order of Nurses affronted by ‘question of dignity’

Animal toilet training pads have been used on hospital patients interned in Faro Hospital.

This is the gist of a story that has come out over the weekend, and which is getting mixed response.

Rita Cavaco, the president of the Order of Nurses, sees the situation as an affront to patients’ dignity – albeit she says she still does not know if this is a one-off; if these pads were purchased because they are cheaper than the regular ‘salva camas’ (disposable absorbent sheets) more commonly used, or whether they were gifted to the hospital.

“But it is a question of dignity”, she told TVI. “People do not want to be compared to dogs and cats”.

Ms Cavaco will be taking the matter up with the Ministry of Health on Monday, the station continues, adding that a source for Faro Hospital has said that there had been a ‘rupture of stocks’ in terms of the usual absorbent sheeting, but he/ she was unaware that this was circumnavigated through recourse to similar items for domestic animals.

An inquiry is now underway, says TVI.

Meantime, the “question of dignity” is also not consensual. People writing over social media point out that no one complains when domestic animals are treated like human beings, why should they be affronted by a reverse situation, particularly when it involves what for all intents and purposes is a bed liner?

“An absorbent sheet is an absorbent sheet”, wrote one commentator over Facebook. “If the supplier sent these because there was nothing else in stock, they certainly knew what they were doing. Whatever the case, I cannot see what a simple issue of packaging has to do with the dignity of patients. Only people who are badly informed could take advantage of this to make a drama. It is simply a question of forgetting the packaging and using the sheets. They are identical. It would be much worse if there weren’t any…”

All in all, this does seem to be another ‘shaggy dog’ story more designed to try and show up the SNS public health system which is labouring under far more serious issues than the political correctness of absorbent sheeting.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com