New Lisbon hospital tops government’s health agenda

THE GOVERNMENT has announced plans to construct the first of three new hospitals for Greater Lisbon in the new eastern part of the city.

The Ministry of Health has been given the green light by the government to carry out feasibility studies following the announcement in recent weeks that Lisbon’s São José, Capuchos and Desterro hospitals all face the axe.

The first new hospital of six to be built nationwide is the planned Hospital de Todos os Santos. Manuel Delgado, the president of the Associação Portuguesa de Administração Hospitalar (APAH), the Portuguese association of hospital administration, believes it is time for these outdated hospitals to be closed and told the Portuguese news agency Lusa that the closures would entail a “relocation of human resources”.

According to Delgado, the move of staff to the new hospital, presently being built in the most modern zone of Lisbon, will cut the number of hospital beds by half, considered “a positive step” because it means less beds and more treatment by mobile units in the home.

The government has already revealed its intention to close Desterro at the end of the month, while the Movimento de Utentes dos Serviços Públicos (MUSP), the public service users movement, said that it would only close down units when the new hospital was up and running.

Following the opening of Hospital de Todos os Santos, the study says that the Ministry of Health’s next priority should be new hospitals for Faro and Évora, and the enlargement of Almada’s Garcia da Horta.