SIM, Portugal’s independent doctors’ union has warned that the problem of emergency department closures will worsen by the end of the year, unless the government speeds up the negotiation process with unions. “Our poignant appeal is for the government to speed up the negotiation process. We are totally available, we have even presented proposals; we can’t pretend we are negotiating,” secretary-general Roque da Cunha told Lusa. As with our story on a masterplan for obstetrics, the government has to MOVE. Said Roque da Cunha today: “This is not a problem of holidays, it is not a summer problem, it is an autumn problem, it is a winter problem, because it is a structural issue, which is not related to specific or one-off situations, but with the inability that has been demonstrated in recent years to hire doctors in the national health service”.