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Citizens demand better conditions at Portimão Hospital

Dozens of people protested in front of Portimão Hospital on Saturday (December 10) following the damning report aired by SIC that exposed a state of “chaos” at the hospital’s casualty department.

Their demands centred on providing “better conditions” for patients and health professionals and solving the hospital’s general shortage of resources.

“There are people who call it the ‘hospital of death’,” protestor Denise Lopes told Correio da Manhã tabloid.

“I have witnessed hunger, thirst and a lack of hygiene inside the hospital this year. That is why I’m here, to demand more resources for the hospital,” she added.

The protest was organised through social media after a TV report revealed that patients are far more than the number of doctors and nurses and that supplies are lacking (click here).

The shortage of resources is so serious that many times nurses give patients water in urine sample containers.

Protestor Pedro Mota said it is “urgent to recover the services and equipment that were lost to Faro Hospital and improve conditions for hospital workers and patients”.

“The hospital already suffered from a lack of staff when it opened,” said João Pires, the main promoter of the protest.

“It’s a recurring problem. But now there is talk of investing in health tourism. Yet this is the kind of hospital that we have to offer,” he told CM.

Also attending the protest was Algarve MP João Vasconcelos, who criticised the “degradation of the National Health System (SNS) and the improvement of the private health sector”.

He added that the hospital is in urgent need of “more doctors, nurses and health professionals”.

Paediatrician shortage expected
Meantime, CM is reporting that a “shortage of paediatricians” is expected at Portimão’s casualty department around Christmas and New Year.

The tabloid says only one paediatrician will be available at a time, meaning “very urgent situations” may have to be transferred to Faro Hospital if the doctor on duty at the time is already busy.

The shortage was acknowledged by the Algarve’s administration board (CHA), which told CM it is trying to find a solution.

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