Health minister admits problems in maternity units in Lisbon/ Vale do Tejo for second summer 

One year on from the drama of ‘imminent rupture in maternity units of Lisbon/ Vale do Tejo’ and the situation seems very similar: health minister Manuel Pizarro has “guaranteed today in Porto that all maternity hospitals in the North, Centre and Alentejo “will be in full operation without any interruption in the coming months” admitting that “the problem” is located, above all, in Lisbon and Tagus Valley. There will be some rotation in the Algarve”, he added (meaning occasions where Portimão will be closed, Faro open and vis-versa), “but the problem is mainly in Lisbon and Tagus Valley”, exacerbated by two maternity units being closed down for renovation works that could not be put off any longer (according to Pizarro). As a result, agreements have been put in place with private hospitals, to secure response when necessary. The terms of the agreement will see the State paying out roughly €2,300 per ‘normal birth’, with costs rising for specialities, like C-sections.