Photo: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

Government and doctors “must reach a deal soon”

Negotiations have been dragging on “for too long”

The head of the Portuguese Medical Association (Ordem dos Médicos) said on Monday that the negotiations between the unions and the government are taking “too long” and argued that reaching an agreement is “absolutely mandatory”.

“I think, firstly, that an agreement is absolutely mandatory. The ministry of health and the government definitely have to take the right measures to solve the problem that is currently happening in the most serious way in the National Health Service (SNS),” said Carlos Cortes, referring to the negotiations which will resume between the ministry of health and the unions representing doctors on Thursday.

“I think that, at the moment, the government and the ministry of health have no alternative but to present concrete solutions to be adopted,” said Cortes at the end of a visit to the Pedro Hispano Hospital in Matosinhos, in the district of Porto.

He said that the negotiations have been going on for “too long” and have had a “disastrous” impact on the SNS.

As for what is missing to reach an agreement between the doctors’ unions and the government, the head of the OM emphasised that the ministry of health “lacks responsibility and competence.”

The government can’t abdicate its responsibility because the country can’t wait, given that it’s urgent at the moment to solve the problems of the SNS,” Cortes said.

On Friday, the ministry of health announced that it would resume negotiations with the unions representing doctors on November 23, following requests from union leaders for an immediate resumption of talks.

The round of talks will be attended by the minister of health, Manuel Pizarro, and the secretary of state for health, Ricardo Mestre, the ministry of health announced in a statement.

Source: LUSA