The shocking news that many doctors convicted of paedophilia continue to treat children has set national media ablaze and forced Portugal’s Health Minister to publically admit the situation has to be dealt with.
Considering these situations to be “unacceptable”, Paulo Macedo said he was willing to push for “changes to national laws” so that convicted paedophiles are not allowed to interact or even treat children.
The minister added he personally knew of a case of a convicted paedophile who had not yet been expelled from the Doctors’ Order (Ordem dos Médicos), stressing these situations have to be dealt with “faster” and not allowed to drag on for years.
He was speaking to journalists during the celebrations of World Health Day (April 7), only a few days after the national board of medical ethics (CNEDM) presented a proposal suggesting that the Doctors’ Order be given the authority to determine that “a convicted paedophile is not fit to treat underage patients for at least 23 years”.
Heloísa Santos, a member of the board, says these cases still happen because “nobody respects the law, especially employers” – pinpointing a Portuguese law (113/2009) which forces recruiters to ask candidates for their criminal record and then consider whether or not the candidate is suitable for the job.