Protest in front of Portimão Hospital
Photos: Michael Bruxo/Open Media Group

“We’re fighting for the right to be born in Portimão”

Dozens of people gathered outside Portimão Hospital on Thursday in protest against the constant closure of the hospital’s maternity unit and the overall “deterioration” of public health services in the Algarve.

“It is scandalous to have a maternity of this size, which serves the entire Barlavento (Western Algarve) being constantly closed,” Bruno Luz from the Portimão National Health Service Users’ Commission told the Resident.

“What is to be done with these women? Is there space for them in Faro? If not, are they to be taken all the way to Lisbon? This is what is at stake. This is a government that always talks about investing in the SNS (national health service), but the results are in sight.”

Said Luz, public health services in the Algarve “continue to deteriorate” which is why the commission decided to mobilise once again.

“This is what we are fighting for: for a decent SNS, for an open maternity, and for the right to be born in Portimão,” he said.

The representative of the commission added that he feels there is an attempt to “favour private groups” instead of investing in the improvement of the SNS.

“As the SNS is further dismantled, there are mushrooms that pop up all over the Algarve from private health companies, which is completely unfair to the region’s population,” he said.

While Bruno Luz praised the health professionals at Portimão Hospital who “do what they can with the resources available to them,” he lamented that the “lack of investment” in attracting more doctors and improving working conditions ends up affecting the quality of services provided to patients.

By Michael Bruxo

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