SNS health service ratchets up €694 million in unpaid bills
The situation in SNS State hospitals has been one of generalised chaos for longer than most people can remember

Urgent inquiries opened into death of 93-year-old-man in hospital corridor

Patient waited almost six hours for transfer to another hospital

The management of Loures’ Beatriz Ângelo Hospital, as well as IGAS (the general health inspectorate) have opened ‘urgent inquiries’ into the death of a 93-year-old man who allegedly waited six hours to be transferred to another hospital, before dying.

According to several media outlets today, the elderly man, who had a fractured hip, spent almost six hours on a stretcher in a Camarate volunteer fire brigade ambulance waiting to be transported to Santa Maria Hospital in the neighbouring municipality of Lisbon.

In a statement, the management board of Beatriz Ângelo Hospital confirmed the story, lamenting the death yesterday.

“Although the preliminary assessment does not allow us to establish any link between the length of stay in the emergency department, the care provided and the outcome that occurred, the board of directors has decided to open an urgent inquiry process to fully investigate the facts,” said the statement.

According to State broadcaster RTP3, the elderly man was admitted to hospital at around 1pm on Monday, was seen and then referred for transfer to Santa Maria.

However, he ended up dying in the corridor, before transfer went ahead.

Several media outlets also reported that the hospital said it had no transport service available and refused to use the Camarate fire brigade’s ambulance to transport the patient.

The commander of the Camarate fire brigade, Luís Martins, told RTP3 that the fire brigade had an ambulance at the door, but the hospital prevented them using it for transport.

Also according to RTP3, there were as many as 22 ambulances at Beatriz Ângelo Hospital yesterday, all of them with patients waiting to be seen or waiting to be transferred to other hospitals.

IGAS has confirmed that it has opened a ‘clarification process’, to assess whether any other kind of ‘inspective action’ needs to go ahead at Loures’ hospital.