hospital waiting room
Waiting lists for surgeries and consultations in Portuguese hospitals have always been long. Current labour issues have just made them even longer.

Strike and lack of doctors aggravates Portugal’s health crisis

Thousands (more) surgeries, consultations and health exams at risk

Thousands of planned surgeries, consultations and health tests and exams are at risk this week as doctors continue to insist a two-day strike must go forwards, irrespective of the government’s latest pay ‘deal’.

With an emergency medical forum taking place in Porto today, hopes are that a truce can be agreed in time.

If not, as of 00.00 hours tomorrow (effectively midnight tonight), doctors up and down the country will be ‘back on strike’, aggravating the work-to-rule over overtime already in place.

Thousands of medical procedures in hospitals and health centres face being cancelled – for rescheduling at a later date.

The dilemma, warns the Order of Physicians, is that if matters continue as they are, the working of the country’s health service “could be unsustainable by November”.

Thus all eyes are on the results of today’s emergency meeting. The next round of negotiations with the government is scheduled for Thursday – but by this time, the health service backlog will have increased exponentially due to the two day strike over Tuesday and Wednesday.

Doctors syndicates said last week that the pay deal suggested by the government showed “signs” of being positive – but they want to see the “offer finalised” – as “commas are really very important” – before they abandon the strike schedule.

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