The young doctor during interviews last month
The young doctor during interviews last month

Faro’s ‘whistleblowing doctor’ goes back to work

Surgeons at Faro Hospital have refused to mentor Diana Pereira; not so those in Portimão

The 27-year-old whistleblowing surgical intern whose complaints of surgical blunders at Faro Hospital opened a veritable Pandora’s Box is due to start working again in the Algarve, this time in Portimão.

Surgeons in Faro Hospital have reportedly refused to work with Diana Pereira, as a result of her complaints, resulting in her practical ‘dismissal’ from the hospital.

Now, Correio da Manhã reports she will be completing her internship in Portimão, where she starts on Monday.

In the meantime, Dr Pereira has been heard by various entities investigating her claims – most recently the commission of inquiry set up by the general medical council (Ordem dos Médicos).

“She continues with the certainty that the cases (she reported) needed to be highlighted”, says CM, revealing that after blowing the whistle on 11 alleged cases in which three people died, another came to the surface which she has also included in her dossier of complaints. It refers to an Irish woman, aged in her 40s, who entered Faro’s A&E department with fever and an irregular heart rate (tachycardia) following surgery to remove her appendix.

“The medical team which is now under investigation was advised during the night of the clinical condition of the Irish woman but downplayed the symptoms considering they were a stress reaction from being away from home”, writes CM.

Dr Pereira clearly was not convinced. She went to visit the patient during the night and “realising that something was going on with the abdominal drains referred her to casualty, which found 10 lacerations in the patient’s small intestine.

“The woman’s situation worsened and for various weeks she had to be intubated and transferred to intensive care”.

She is still not out of the woods, clinically speaking, but she is no longer in intensive care. The patient has had to endure further surgery and is currently on an ‘intermediate care’ ward, says CM.

Dr Pereira’s stand has been applauded by many, including Professor Emeritus at UALG (the university of the Algarve) José Ponte, who wrote an excoriating opinion piece in the local Portuguese press.

The wife of one of the 11 cases Dr Pereira mentioned has also told reporters that she means to take the situation of her husband “to the ultimate consequences”.

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