Doctor on hunger strike over “web of intrigue blocking justice”

Santarém doctor Rui Teixeira has been on hunger strike for more than a week, protesting over what he calls the “web of intrigue blocking justice” in a case that sees as many as 20 doctors owed as much as €150,000 by a bankrupt service company.

As we wrote this story, Rui Teixeira was said to be ‘still working’ at Santarém Hospital, despite the fact that he has only been drinking water since March 21.

Hospital boss José Josue has assured Lusa news agency that Teixeira will only work if he “feels in shape” to do so.

But this is the least of Teixeira’s concerns. His beef lies with the fact that defunct company RPSM received money from the hospital board without passing it on to the doctors it was supplying.

His own ‘back pay’, owed for four months between June and September 2014, comes to “around €11,000”, explains Lusa.

Other colleagues are owed different amounts – totalling around €150,000.

But as the case has gone through the courts, RPSM has ‘gone into liquidation’.

Even though the company was ordered a year ago to pay the doctors’ owed salaries, it says it doesn’t have the money.

The straw that forced Teixeira into going on hunger strike was a letter received by the receiver last month asking him to lodge €150,000 with the courts “to assure the continuation of the case”.

“This is ridiculous,” he retorts, stressing his hunger strike is a “shout of disgust against justice” which he means to continue until RPSM pay up, and the ‘fraud’ “masked by the authorities” is exposed.

[email protected]