Health service in crisis: another 10 chiefs of service resign ‘en masse’

Another 10 chiefs of service at one of Portugal’s best known State hospitals have resigned en masse.

This time it is heads of various services at the casualty department of Hospital de Santa Maria, one of Lisbon’s leading hospitals.

At issue – as with all ‘mass resignations’ recently – is the general degradation of working conditions. But this time frustrations include the ‘extraordinary hours’ staff have been told they will be required to work from November 22.

Usually, mass resignations are only designed as ‘warnings’: the heads of service tender their resignations, but they generally stay in place until replacements or solutions are found.

This is time however is a little different: the resignation letter sent to the hospital’s administrative council gives only 12 days before the doctors vow to leave their posts, reports SIC television news.

Their main beef is the lack of doctors to complete teams in the surgical bloc.

But they are also refusing to take on more overtime (‘extraordinary hours’) beyond the 150 that are obligatory per year

Says SIC, there are some who last year worked more than 1,000 hours of overtime – and still haven’t been paid. 

The next step will be meetings with the administrative council.

Contacted by SIC, the council has “guaranteed it is open to finding solutions”.

The meetings are due to begin at the start of next week.

This is just the latest ‘case’ joining so many others affecting the SNS State health service (click here).

Jorge Roque da Cunha, president of SIM – the independent syndicate of doctors tells SIC “this cry of alert comes as a way of demanding more investment in the national health service”.

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