Doctors association warns of “criminal situation” in Portuguese hospital

Doctors association warns of “criminal situation” in hospital

“What’s cheaper? To amputate a leg or insert prosthesis?”
It’s a shocking question – particularly if you are the patient. What would you prefer? To lose a leg, or have a prosthetic device inserted into your arteries that would save your leg?
While the answer is not rocket science, the truth appears to be that decisions these days are not being made on what is preferable, but on what is cheaper for the Portuguese health service.
At least this is the opinion of the doctors’ association (Ordem dos Médicos) which brought this latest case to the public eye on Thursday.
Said the association’s president José Manuel Silva, the hospital where this question was raised by an administrator should be “declassified” and radically reformed.
Pinpointing the Amadora-Sintra Hospital, Silva was using an example to raise awareness of the ongoing problems within the health service, where doctors are underpaid and overworked.
“We’re training doctors to emigrate,” he told journalists. “This year, 400 have left Portugal and at the same time, we have vacancies inland.”
But SIM, the independent syndicate of doctors, goes further – alleging that the situation at Amadora-Sintra is one that “suggests crime”.
SIM also points to the radiology equipment at the hospital being obsolete.
None of these issues are “new”, but the question: “What’s cheaper: Leg on or off?” brings the whole crisis prompted by austerity into a frightening new perspective.