Private hospital group CUF – with outlets in the Lisbon and Porto areas – has stepped into the State’s battle to save lives with an offer of 50 ventilators.
The group’s president Salvador de Mello tells Expresso that the machines will start being delivered to hospitals on the frontline over the next 10 days.
Lisbon’s Santa Casa da Misericórdia organisation is also donating six ventilators, three brand new.
As we explained in previous stories, the country’s lack of ventilators is ‘acute’. Portugal ranks at the bottom of the league table of European countries best equipped with these machines, which, when patients are gasping for breath, very often mean the difference between life and death.
CUF’s support for the State effort isn’t stopping here, however.
The group is in constant touch with SNS health services. Said Mello: “Our commitment is to do everything in our power to bring this pandemic under control. We have shown our availability to collaborate with the health ministry to respond to the needs of the population in the terms the government deems necessary, and according to existing availabilities”.
The collaboration could extend to interning infected patients. It’s basically up to the ministry of health – and what happens next.
The important message is that the private chain is open to “define other terms of collaboration” if the need arises.
Meantime, Tuesday will see a meeting of the Association of Portuguese private hospitals with the general directorate of health (DGS) to “reinforce articulation between the State and private sectors”.