The inconvenient truth is that access to the state health service has “deteriorated between 2014 and 2016” with clear indications that the health ministry has sanctioned the falsifying of performance data, particularly when it came to patient waiting times, including patients battling life-compromising cancers.
The country’s accounts court has delivered its bombshell today, recommending that in future the ministry should be regularly checked by an “outside entity”.
According to the report, average waiting times for surgeries taken from the moment of first consultation have extended, taking them beyond the maximums guaranteed in 2014.
Right now, the country has around 27,000 people waiting for surgeries with the SNS state health service.
The accounts court has recommended a mechanism in which vouchers are emitted for surgeries to ensure they go ahead at the right time and “do not put patients rights to health care within a clinically acceptable time frame at risk”.
As to the “falsifying” of data, the court found that the ministry had managed this by literally wiping records clean of patients’ first consultations, reports Diário de Notícias.