The government’s decision to let patients choose where they would like to be treated has meant that demands on the Portuguese Oncology Institute, in Lisbon, have spiralled, reports RTP television news. The IPO already suffers from staff shortages, but with patient numbers now increasing exponentially, 25% of surgeries are taking place outside legal limits, says the station. The situation has seen “complaints” rise as well, says RTP.
Urgent situations are generally dealt with within 15 days, but all others have to wait up to 60 days, with the speciality of ‘Otorhinolaryngology’ being one of the most complicated. Here patients “have to wait a month for an intervention which should take place within two weeks”.
The only ‘bright side’ to the situation is that the time taken for a patient to be seen for a first consultation at IPO has reduced, says RTP.