President of the General Medical Council (Ordem dos Médicos) Miguel Guimarães says authorities' lack of response is simply not acceptable

General Medical Council says it has been waiting five days for solution to crisis at Lisbon’s S. Francisco Xavier

Heads of service ‘ready to walkout’

The Ordem dos Médicos (general medical council) has said in a statement this morning that it has waited five days for an answer to secure the ‘good running’ of A&E at Lisbon’s São Francisco Xavier hospital.

In that time, it has insisted, says the statement – and still nothing.

At issue are the August rosters, which will leave the service in the hands of only one head of service backed by one medical intern.

This is the month marked by DGS health director Graça Freitas, in a statement that shocked the nation.

The worst thing that can happen to us is getting ill in August. August is not a good month for accident or illnesses”, she warned.

The reality is that Portugal has arrived at August now, and the health service appears to be in crisis on multiple levels – particularly A&E and obstetrics.

The general medical council wants answers – and they are not coming.

Says Lusa, the last ‘intervention’ saw hospital authorities consider minimum conditions are still being met at S. Francisco Xavier.

It is not what anyone desperate for medical attention will want to hear, nor is it acceptable to the general medical council.

Says the statement published today: the decision of the board of directors not to comply with the standard teams and scales appropriate to the needs of patients, essentially means they are voluntarily decreasing the safety and clinical quality of the services provided, increasing physicians’ levels of ‘burnout’ and ethical suffering, and “substantively undermining medical training”.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com