A new outpatient department has been inaugurated at Portimão’s São Camilo Hospital following a €300,000 investment.
The new department has 12 new rooms for ophthalmology, otolaryngology, cardiology, paediatrics, orthopaedics as well as two new waiting rooms and an observation room.
The hospital, inaugurated in 1973, was given a breath of fresh air, says the hospital’s clinical director João Amado.
For years, São Camilo served as Portimão’s district hospital. It is now owned by Portugal’s Santa Casa da Misericórdia charity and the HPA hospital group.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by several high-profile guests from the Algarve including Portimão and Monchique mayors Isilda Gomes and Rui André respectively, Silves municipal assembly president Vítor Rodrigues, the Algarve university hospital board’s clinical director Mahomede Americano and the HPA group’s board president João Bacalhau.
There are also other novelties in store. The hospital is due to boast a whole new department focusing on women’s health, with a general surgery area and another area to screen, advise and treat women for breast cancer.
Speech, deglutition and vertigo problems will be other issues that the hospital will be focusing on in the near future.
“We will also change our whole gym area and continue to grow in the area of permanent assistance,” said Amado.
The clinical director also said the hospital will continue to provide private medical care to “those who can afford it” although it will maintain its partnerships with health insurance companies and the national health service (SNS).
However, João Amado stressed that the hospital is owed around €800,000-worth of surgeries by the Algarve university hospital board (CHUA).
“The excuses for non-payment have, for many years, been few or non-existent. For those who want to continue investing (in the hospital) and ensuring people’s jobs, it is impossible to continue resorting to bank loans or factoring solutions,” he said.
Despite this, the hospital aims to continue working with the SNS to provide surgeries and ensure that the waiting lists are shortened.
“Surgeries shouldn’t be put at risk due to non-payment. We also want to extend our services to specialty appointments, which take years at CHUA, as well as cardiology exams. Patients have to travel to Faro to do them when we have the ability to do them here. Nobody understands why there are agreements between the national health service and the Misericórdia and private hospitals in other regions of Portugal, but here there aren’t any,” he said.