Healthcare concerns

Dear Editor,

Full marks to the Mayor of Castro Marim for the boots for the disabled “senhor”, but his comments on the classic Portuguese bureaucracy may tell us more about health services and much more than the health minister on his recent visit and the new head of Algarve hospitals can.

The problem is far bigger than admitted; it is right down to the basic of healthcare existence. If we are just short of doctors, why the huge expansion in private services, hospitals? Or is that the devious aim to push people to provide for themselves rather than cost the state?

My wife cannot be treated because of no specialist. We can go without a doctor at our health centre for two months, then often end up with a poor agency doctor which the state is paying a huge amount for. But no one cares, “so what?”

Perhaps the answer to deal with doctors who don’t want to come to the Algarve (the alleged problem … but as I have already said, the problems are deeper) is to follow the UK idea: self-employed GPs at health centres providing healthcare, including education, on a government contract. Bonuses to such practices to provide other health services, ECGs etc., and special skills might add much to care.

By email