Hospital closes after only two months

By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]

A lack of licences is being blamed for the closure of the Hospital Internacional do Algarve in Albufeira just two months after its partial opening.

The company behind the project, Trofa Saúde, announced on October 14 that the planned operating rooms, inpatient facility and emergency room, all due to open this month, would not be going ahead due to “difficulties in obtaining the necessary permits for these purposes”, meaning it had taken the decision to close the premises until everything was in order.

In a statement, Trofa Saúde said: “It is not possible for the hospital to open all the services within the time scheduled for the work.

“Delays in the delivery of contracted equipment and further delays in the completion of the building works at the hospital have also added to the prevention of the opening of the new areas within the hospital.”

The Hospital Internacional do Algarve, located in Montechoro, opened partially to the public in August this year providing an outpatient service and a 24-hour general clinic and was one of several private hospitals and clinics managed by Trofa Saúde across Portugal.

Designed by Portuguese architect Madalena Teves and covering 5,400 square metres, the hospital represented an investment of 22 million Euros by the Grupo Trofa Saúde.

When the hospital project was revealed in October 2009, it was billed as being a “one stop shop” for patients to include neurosurgery, plastic surgery, orthopaedic specialists and paediatrics among other services. The project had already faced setbacks when “bureaucratic issues” were responsible for delaying the opening of the hospital by two years before construction had been completed.

Albufeira Câmara President Desidério Silva said that there had been “great expectations” within the municipality for the hospital, adding that its closure was a loss to the residents and visitors of Albufeira.

While Trofa Saúde has now closed the facility because it is unable to open fully as they had planned, the group also stated that it is committed to solving the problems that are currently facing the hospital and hopes that “within a short time” the hospital will be able to open fully.

Do you have a view on this story? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]