PRIVATE HOSPITALS in the Algarve are being enlisted by the government to help reduce the backlog caused by long waiting lists for national health service operations.
Around 225,000 people are currently on waiting lists for surgery in Portugal, while only 12,138 operations were performed last year.
In June 2004, the Sistema Integrado de Gestão de Inscritos para Cirurgia (SIGIC), an integrated management system to manage registrations for surgery, was introduced with the aim of reducing waiting lists and creating the opportunity for patients to be attended to within a clinically acceptable period. However, the results of this have not been significant.
With the objective of helping reduce waiting times in the Algarve private hospitals are being asked to undertake operations to help reduce waiting lists. Hospital Privado de São Gonçãlo de Lagos and Hospital de Santa Maria de Faro alone, are undertaking around 100 operations per month funded by the State.
The partnership with these two hospitals was set up a year ago and, in the first year, a total of 1,400 surgical procedures have been carried out relating to various specialist fields such as urology, gynaecology, plastic surgery, ophthalmology, general surgery, ear, nose and throat and orthopedics, among others.
In order to provide a better response to public health patients’ needs, these hospitals are providing a quality service, as well as the expertise of their medical professionals and modern facilities. The Resident contacted the Algarve Health Authority to find out more about the present situation with regard to waiting lists in the Algarve.
“In January of 2006 there were 9,380 people on the waiting list for operations in the Algarve, in June, 8,282 and in December 7,844. The average waiting time in 2006 for the Algarve was 7.6 months,” said a spokesperson.
“Hospitals adhere voluntarily to the programme and are contracted to assist with the treatment of patients on the waiting list. In the Algarve, there are contracts in place with the following hospitals: Associação de Socorros Mútuos dos Empregados de Comércio e Indústria; Hospital Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa; Hospital da Misericórdia da Portimão; Hospital Particular Algarve; Hospital Privado de São Gonçalo de Lagos; Hospital de Santa Maria de Faro; Hospital Infantil São João de Deus and Hospital de St. Louis dos Franceses.”
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