The sign today greeting anyone taking a child to Faro Hospital's pediatric department

Faro hospital without pediatric A&E due to staff absences

Sunday has seen a notice posted on the door of Faro Hospital’s pediatric department, saying there will be no service available today before 9pm. Any eventual admissions will have to be transferred to Portimão Hospital.

The reason, explain reports, is that around 100 staff at the unit have been found ‘positive’ for SARS-CoV-2 infection, and are thus in enforced isolation.

This is an issue that is affecting hospitals throughout the country (click here). But it is particularly frustrating for the parents of children in the Sotavento Algarve who will be  faced with a long journey to Portimão, which will undoubtedly be put under further pressure because of this added demand.

The development comes as CNN reports there are now more than 3,000 nurses in Portugal who have put in letters for ‘excuse of responsibility’ due to unsupportable working conditions.

The last 101 lodged their protests at Hospital de Santa Maria last week, explaining this is not an issue exclusive to the pandemic: the degradation of conditions for healthcare workers has been ongoing for the last six years, but it has definitely worsened over the last 12 months (click here).

Last Sunday focus in Portugal was on the election result, and which party would win through. Since then, everything has ‘flipped back’ to the real problems affecting the nation, and how so much needs to be fixed. The ‘absolute majority’ won by PS Socialists is, in fact, a double-edged sword. In the days when the party relied on left-wing allies, ‘syndicate’ rage was kept to manageable levels. Now, workers everywhere are ‘rising up and demanding action’ – while left-wing former allies are in no mood to placate the Socialists.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com