Hospital boss announces €5 million investment in Faro Hospital

Algarve hospital boss Pedro Nunes has announced plans to invest €5 million in the renovation of operating rooms at Faro Hospital and the expansion of its cardiac intensive care unit.

Speaking to Lusa news agency on Tuesday (March 17), the head of the Algarve hospital administration (CHA) said the project includes siting outpatient surgery next to the hospital’s main surgical ward in order to “improve the use of human resources and increase security in the transportation of patients”.

Nunes added there are also plans to increase the number of beds in cardiac intensive care unit (from six to 10) as well as purchase new equipment.

The project has actually been on the back burner for two years but Nunes said he is confident it will be approved by the Ministry of Health before the end of the year.

“This investment is only possible in the Algarve as the hospitals are articulated and share the same management,” he told Lusa – adding that the CHA’s cost-cutting has allowed it to clear its €120 million debt.

For those who may not know, the Algarve’s three hospitals (Faro, Portimão and Lagos) began being managed by the CHA in 2013.

Nunes added that accounts are now stable and none of the hospitals are over-budget.

His news came just as prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho visited the Algarve and said his government “had not forgotten the need” for a new central hospital for the region – but that, for the time being, there simply was not the money to build one (see story ‘Passos booed and heckled on commemorative trip to Algarve’ at portugalresident.com)

ARS denies accusations of “fewer nurses”
Meantime, the unfortunately-abbreviated regional health authority ARS has denied claims from the Portuguese Nurses’ Union (SEP) that the Algarve’s primary health services are suffering from a shortage of staff and a lack of appropriate working conditions and medications.

In a statement sent to Lusa, ARS said there has been a 30% increase in the number of nurses in the Algarve’s public health services between 2007 and 2014, which translates into a total of 356 nurses at the end of 2007 and 468 in 2014.
SEP has stressed a lack of 107 nurses at the Algarve’s central health centres – Faro, Albufeira, São Brás de Alportel, Loulé and Olhão – but according to ARS the figure is only 25.

ARS has also denied that there is a lack of conditions and resources at the health centres, saying “any problems with the purchase and distribution of medications are promptly resolved and never put their services in danger”.

By MICHAEL BRUXO [email protected]

Photo: Algarve hospital boss Pedro Nunes (right) pictured with health minister Paulo Macedo at Faro Hospital in January
Photo by: LUIS FORRA/LUSA