Hospitals feeling the summer strain

As the Algarve welcomes millions of visitors to the region this month, doctors are being asked not to take holidays to help meet demand over the summer period, which is likely to see public hospitals stretched to capacity.

Members of the board of Faro Hospital have appealed to their doctors to postpone holidays as the region’s hospitals are affected by the population of the Algarve tripling during August.

This has resulted in waiting times for patients attending the accident and emergency sections of hospitals averaging four hours as doctors between them are seeing around 400 patients per day.

Visitors to the region are also being asked to help ease the burden of the accident and emergency facilities of the region, located in Faro and Portimão, by making assessments of their own injuries and visiting local health centres for less serious health problems.

Chairman of the regional health administration authority of the Algarve, Rui Lourenço, said: “We do not have the resources to be able to treat everyone at the same time and many people spend hours waiting in emergency rooms when they would be better receiving treatment from a local health centre.”

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