New Algarve hospital board takes over

A new hospital board that aims to solve the Algarve’s perennial health care issues, including a “lack of qualified human resources”, took power on Friday (September 1). It is led by former Faro Hospital board president Ana Paula Gonçalves, who has taken over from Joaquim Ramalho.

Speaking to national tabloid Correio da Manhã, Ana Paula Gonçalves said she accepted the job with “great will and energy” but refused to go into detail about the state of the region’s hospitals.

“We’ve had a transition meeting, but it’s still early days for me to comment,” the new hospital chief told CM on Friday.

What is certain is that the lack of doctors and nurses is one of the priorities of the new board, which promises “greater autonomy” for each unit, with each management team will be “more empowered”.

The hospitals’ new link to the university could be “essential” in this respect, she said.

“The fact that this is now a university hospital centre is an advantage,” said the woman who led Faro Hospital’s administration board between 2006 and 2011, adding that the plan is to give the Algarve region quality public health care.

Ana Paula Gonçalves is joined in the new hospital board by surgeon Mahomede Americano, doctor Helena Leitão, nurse Filomena Martins and economist and Loulé deputy mayor Hugo Nunes.

The new Algarve University Hospital Centre, which goes by the initials CHUA, features four units, two of which were part of the previous system: Faro hospital, and the Portimão and Lagos hospitals. The new units to integrate the system are the São Brás physiotherapy centre (CMRS) and the University of the Algarve.

Regional health authority ARS has said the new system hopes to attract “more doctors, nurses and other health professionals” to the region, and at the same time “reinforce the hospitals’ link to the university, namely by strengthening and bolstering the Medicine course”.

The former CHA board – which took over the management of the Algarve’s three hospitals (Faro, Portimão and Lagos) – was criticised for a “lack of health professionals” and “working conditions”.

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