Unions criticise Lagos Hospital’s

PUBLIC SECTOR unions have accused the Barlavento Hospital’s steering committee of preparing to close Lagos Hospital.

Nursing unions allege that ongoing work at the Lagos Hospital has reduced consultation facilities. They cite a small waiting room, patients forced to queue in the street and the redeployment of essential medicine to Portimão’s Barlavento Hospital as evidence of an undeclared intention to bring about the slow death of the hospital.

Unions claim that patients requiring admission to Lagos Hospital have to be transferred by ambulance to Portimão – 20 kilometres away – to face a screening procedure before being returned to Lagos Hospital if deemed suitable for admission. “The situation is grotesque because patients, after observation at Lagos, are subjected to a virtual team selection at Portimão and are kept waiting for hours and hours,” said a union spokesperson.

Problems at Lagos Hospital date back to March 2004 when two people died on the operating table following the administering of anaesthetics for routine operations, events that led to the closure of operating theatres. Last August, the hospital was brought under the jurisdiction of Barlavento Hospital’s Administrative Board.

Unions are now requesting a meeting with the Algarve Regional Health Authority’s Administration Council in order to arrest what they see as the hospital’s terminal decline.