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Health Minister: Algarve hospital management was a failure

Portugal’s Health Minister has agreed that the Algarve’s unpopular CHA hospital management system was a “failure” and an “example of everything that should not be done”.

“We don’t understand how the region has so many difficulties, how it lives in a state of war like the one experienced this past year by health professionals, municipalities and hospitals,” Adalberto Campos Fernandes told Portugal’s State Budget commission this week.

The minister is expected to visit the Algarve next week to “promote a climate of peace among mayors and health professionals”.

Over the past few years, the CHA hospital board – which took over the management of the Algarve’s three hospitals (Faro, Portimão and Lagos) – was criticised for a “lack of health professionals” and “working conditions”. Nurses’ union SEP and Portimão mayoress Isilda Gomes were among leading critics.

Campos Fernandes agreed there were many problems, saying CHA focused “too much on A&R” and left some specialties without enough doctors, such as orthopaedics and neurosurgery.

He also suggested the Algarve was caught in the middle of “public and private interests”.

Plans are now in place to bring much-needed health professionals to the Algarve, with Fernandes saying “protocols are being worked on” with Lisbon’s Centro Hospitalar do Norte.

Meantime, the Resident has still not received answers from the Health Ministry to our written questions about rumours that it has already chosen the members of the Algarve’s new hospital board.

According to national tabloid Correio da Manhã, ARS Algarve board member Joaquim Ramalho is going to take over the spot of outspoken hospital boss Pedro Nunes.

Carlos Santos, a doctor at Portimão hospital, is reportedly going to be named CHA’s clinical director and head-nurse at ARS Algarve Nuno Murcho will be put in charge of CHA’s nursing department (click here).