Lagoa fights to keep medical centre open

THE MUNICIPAL Assembly of Lagoa has opposed the government’s proposal to close the Lagoa Serviço de Atendimento Permanente (SAP), the medical centre, claiming that it would hinder access to healthcare.

Many patients would be left without a family doctor nearby and the closure of the SAP would place even more strain on the Accident and Emergency department of Portimão hospital.

The government proposes the closure of all medical centres in the Algarve apart from four in an effort to cut costs and re-organise the current system so doctors and nurses are sent to work where they are most needed.

Vila Real de Santo António, Loulé, Albufeira and Lagos medical centres will remain open to attend to patients in areas too far from Faro and Portimão hospital, but all others in rural areas will be made obsolete.

The government said that the remaining four SAPs would be able to cope with the patients because the medical and auxiliary staff would be concentrated in these four and the centres would be centralised.

The Municipal Assembly of Lagoa argued that because there was no sign of offering an alternative, the members would continue to fight to keep the SAP open. It was evident, however, that this opposition may not mean that the SAP will be reprieved.

Will you be affected if the Lagoa SAP closes, or has your local SAP already closed down? Email your views or experiences to [email protected]