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“Surreal” corpse problems dog Algarve health centre

Nursing syndicate spokesman Nuno Manjua has been describing the “surreal” conditions at an Algarve health centre where decomposing corpses are left unrefrigerated, smelling horrendously when they are later rolled past “medical professionals and patients” on their way to funeral agencies.

Talking to TSF radio, Manjua claims it is a scenario that only people spending time in Vila Real de Santo António’s Centro de Saúde “could comprehend”.

His assertions have been refuted by president of the regional health association Moura Reis, but they recall the horrific experience of a Dutch family earlier this summer who discovered their loved one had decomposed to such a degree in two days that they were unable to ‘say their goodbyes’.

In this particular case, the situation was put down to an “air con failure”, but clearly the region’s high summer temperatures play havoc with the conservation of cadavers.

The issue has been compounded at VRSA by the fact that building work designed to improve refrigerated facilities for corpses en-route for funeral parlours has resulted in a room that is “too small to deal with the bodies”, says Manjua.

Moura Reis told TSF that this is indeed the case, but “guarantees that he has already given orders for the use of another room” that is both “more refrigerated” and where “corpses don’t have to pass in front of patients”, writes Diário de Notícias.

The story has been picked up by a number of other sources, many of which cite Manjua as affirming this “outrage has been happening for years”, and it is time for a “rapid solution”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com