Warns “by next week there will be patients without healthcare”
The Portuguese Order of Physicians (Ordem dos Médicos) has called today for an urgent meeting with health minister Manuel Pizarro to find immediate solutions to put an end to the “serious situation” facing the SNS (national health service).
As Lusa reports, the Order warns that the situation in several hospitals from the north to the south of the country is serious. “By next week there will be patients without access to healthcare”, yet the Ministry of Health and the SNS Executive Board have failed to present any kind of concrete solutions.
Speaking to Lusa, the Order’s president Carlos Cortes described the situation as “an unprecedented crisis” in a public service that was only recently boosted by a new tier of management on the basis that this would improve matters, not damage them even further.
There is “a great lack of sensitivity and common sense on the part of the government”, particularly regarding the need to value doctors, Cortes told Lusa.
“I have no doubt whatsoever that what is happening at the moment could become catastrophic in the coming months if nothing is done. It’s an unprecedented crisis,” he repeated.
According to the Order’s information, around 25 hospitals are unable to provide services in crucial areas like internal medicine, surgery, paediatrics, cardiology, intensive care and gynaecology and obstetrics.
“We know that Guarda won’t be able to provide internal medicine, that Chaves is having huge difficulties in paediatrics, that Barcelos won’t have surgery either, that Viana do Castelo is also at risk of having breakdowns in various areas that are absolutely fundamental to the response of the SNS,” he said.
This has been a slow-burning crisis, but the formation of the ‘Executive Directorate’ just over a year ago appears if anything to have created more division in the ailing health service than existed under the previous health minister Marta Temido.
Source material: LUSA