Meetings have taken place between the Administração Regional de Saúde Algarve (ARS) and Alcoutim Câmara over the closure of two medical centres in the area.
ARS Algarve intends to close the centres in Alcoutim, but the câmara has accused the ARS Algarve of accelerating the desertification of inland Algarve.
Rui Lourenço, president of ARS Algarve, believes the closure of the facilities in Giões and Pereiro would lead to a better quality of medical care and greater human resources at other medical centres in Alcoutim and Martinlongo. He also said it would increase consultation hours.
Alcoutim’s Câmara President, Francisco Amaral, responded to the plans by saying that many residents would be too far away from the medical centres to receive emergency treatment.
Alcoutim has a population of 3,800 people, widely dispersed throughout a large area of hills.
Rui Lourenço argued that the Alcoutim medical centre would offer permanent medical care from 9am until 9pm and would offer transport to another medical centre, if necessary.
Discussions are ongoing between ARS Algarve and Alcoutim Câmara, with no official decision having yet been made.