Socialists “deeply concerned” about Algarve’s health sector

Portugal’s Socialist Party (PS) has sounded the alarm yet again about the state of the Algarve’s health sector – expressing “deep concerns” about the region’s “lack of human resources” and other health-related issues.

After a two-day visit to the Algarve last week, socialist MPs Luísa Salgueiro, Ivo Oliveira, Sandra Cardoso, Agostinho Santa and Miguel Freitas released a statement demanding a new “political strategy” to overcome the “vulnerabilities” of the region’s health sector.

As the MPs point out, the Algarve has struggled with its attempts to hire more health professionals and, in fact, data shows that the number of family doctors and GPs has dropped from 199 to 173 between 2011 and 2015.

They also highlight that 30% of the region’s population (150,000 people) remains without a family doctor. They say that the Algarve lacks “capable” mental health services and add that the only way health services keep running is by hiring temporary workers.

The fact that there has been a reduction in the number of medical appointments and surgeries is also stressed by the socialist MPs.

The socialist quintet also points its finger at how many health units have “Portuguese, Cuban and temporary doctors”, breeding “inequality” in the service provided to patients.

On a closing note, the MPs say things only aren’t worse because of the “competence and dedication” of the region’s health professionals and the “commitment and effort” of local borough councils.