CONSTRUCTION OF the new Loulé Hospital was set to commence in September this year, but will now be delayed due to lack of funding. Apparently, the reason for the collapse of the project is that Faro Hospital and Hospitais Privados de Portugal (HPP) pulled out of the agreement they had made with Loulé Câmara and the Santa Casa da Misericórdia (public social institution network). The original plan was for the hospital to offer 15 national health beds for recuperative care, under an agreement with Faro Hospital, and 26 beds for private patients.
“It is strange that the Ministry of Health has altered its position, as the installation of 15 national health service beds at the new hospital forms part of the Plano Regional de Saúde do Algarve (the regional health plan).”
Seruca Emídio, President of Loulé Câmara, said that the building where the hospital was to be housed (where the old Hospital da Misericórdia used to be) will continue to be restored and he guaranteed that, even though the hospital has been put on hold, the building will still offer services linked to health or social action.”
Loulé Câmara is planning to refurbish the building in which the hospital was going to be installed, at a cost of 800,000 euros and, at a recent press conference, the president was said to be disappointed that the Ministry of Health had decided not to finance the project. “After the building is ready, the initial project will be discussed again and we will be open to suggestions from private entities,” he said.
The total budget for the hospital is two million euros and, if and when it does go ahead, the plan is to offer a rehabilitation service, an operating section for minor surgery and consultations in specialities such as paediatrics, dermatology and ophthalmology, among others.