Eighteen extra hospital beds have been set up at the Algarve’s two major hospitals (Portimão and Faro) as a “cautionary and temporary measure” during the flu season.
The Algarve hospital administration (CHA) says the extra beds will help “minimise the impact of the flu season”, which has spelled chaos in other parts of the country.
National media reports that five people have already died this year allegedly after waiting hours in hospital to see a doctor. But the head of national health authority (DGS) Francisco George has recently denied that Portugal’s health services are in shambles.
Says CHA, the extra beds will be used for “patients who are in a stable condition and have been discharged from hospital but are still waiting to be taken home or to another health unit”.
The measure is temporary but will involve an “extra effort” from health professionals, admitted CHA’s head of A&E Luís Pereira.
As CHA hospital director Pedro Nunes told us recently, “we are prepared. Our system has been organised with military spirit. We are geared for emergencies, which means we can move people round, free up beds and generally ensure people who need to be admitted are admitted.”