Health minister Marta Temido is facing criticism of her suitability for the role

Health Service crisis: Commission of accompaniment meets today

Minister and regional health administrations get round table

The ‘commission of accompaniment’ created to “respond to the crisis in obstetric and gynecological emergency services” meets this morning with health minister Marta Temido facing the fact that more and more critics are saying she may not be up to the task.

According to Lusa, the meeting, with regional health administrations, comes as fractured obstetric and gynecological services are showing come positive signs.

Services in Portimão, for example – closed for the best part of a week – should be reopening, as are those in Braga.

Setúbal too, where a lack of anesthetists had caused limitations to both obstetrics and trauma surgery, should be returning to a more operational context – albeit there are no illusions, the health service is staggering under chronic lack of personnel, and many would say a lack of coherent organisation.

Speaking to Lusa ahead of the start of the meeting, the new commission’s national coordinator Diogo Ayres de Campos – a specialist whose firm belief is that obstetric care in Portugal needs to be rethought – said the focus is on finding a formula to establish “greater coordination” between hospitals when maternity and/ or delivery blocs are closed.

Head of obstetrics himself at the University Hospital Centre of Lisbon Norte (CHULN) as well as president of the European Assocaition of Perinatal Medicine, Ayres de Campos stressed that “first priority” is to “find solutions for the summer”. But since the commission will be dealing with “acute problems”, it will have to “take the more structural” issues “and try to effect change there, because otherwise one will be simply reacting and not planning”.

As television commentator Luís Marques Mendes commented on his regular Sunday slot on SIC evening news last night, either the minister remodels the health service, or she will find herself ‘remodelled’ (meaning, she will be out of a job).

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com