The first Algarvean Unidade de Saúde Familiar (USF), Family Health Unit, opened on October 2 in Olhão.
The Âncora Family Health Unit will treat more than 8,000 patients from the country’s National Health Service.
At the inauguration ceremony, the president of the Administração de Saúde do Algarve (ARS), the Regional Health Authority, Dr. Rui Lourenço said that he looked forward to the unit’s future.
This sentiment was shared by the Civil Governor of Faro, António Pina, who was also present.
The Âncora Family Health Unit is in the grounds of the established Health Centre of Olhão, but the latter will become an accident and emergency unit only as a result of the new facility.
The new Olhão USF will be able to deal with emergencies as well as scheduled consultations. It will offer medical assistance on site and, home nursing care will also be available.
There will be 15 members of staff at the new health unit: five full-time doctors – António Bruno, Filomena Neto, Irene Cardoso, João Luís and Luísa Luz, five nursing staff – Dina Palma, Isabel Sinfrónio, Óscar Silva, Rocio Pulido and Teresa Corvo and five administrative staff.
The USF will be managed separately from the emergency unit, which will allow more freedom for the medical staff and increase the amount of patients that can be seen each day.
The ARS said that this self-contained unit, with its projected turnover rate, will not affect patient costs as prices for appointments, treatments and examinations will remain the same as other health centres across the country.
A similar USF will be up and running by the end of the year in Monchique and the ARS is keen to continue in the same manner next year.
The opening hours of the Õlhão USF are 8am until 10pm during the week and from 9am until 3pm at weekends.