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Government smooths out ‘misunderstandings’ over Covid-19 care with Order of Doctors

104health misunderstandingsThe prime minister said this Tuesday that a range of “misunderstandings” with the Order of Doctors throughout last week have been cleared up. This comes following the outbreak of COVID-19 in an elderly care home in Reguengos de Monsaraz, and a series of comments made about the mismanagement of the situation, leading Costa to stress his appreciation for the sector.

The prime-minister read a statement to journalists in São Bento, after a meeting lasting almost three hours with the president of the Order of Doctors, Miguel Guimarães, in which the Minister of Health, Marta Temido, and the Secretary of State António Lacerda Sales, were also present.

In the statement, with no journalists being allowed to ask questions, Costa talked of the “concrete case” verified in the Reguengos de Monsaraz care home, saying it had been referred “to the competent institutions, which, with the information already available, will investigate” what happened and how such a large number of residents were allowed to become infected with COVID-19.

“I had the opportunity to inform and clarify in more detail with Mr. Bastonário [of the Orders of Doctors] about the way the State since June had been aware, acted on and reacted to the specific situation that occurred in the Reguengos home. I am particularly pleased that Bastonário can leave here – I hope – without the slightest doubt about the enormous consideration and appreciation I have for doctors, for their work, as well as for all health professionals “, declared Costa.

At the end of his statement, with Miguel Guimarães at his side, the Prime Minister reinforced his message: “We must work more as a team to guarantee all citizens, whether they reside in their own homes, whether they reside in care homes, or in another space, the best possible care – and, for that, none of us will shy away.”

“I thank Mr. Bastonário for the opportunity and the frankness of this conversation. I hope that all misunderstandings are cleared up. And I am particularly happy for the way in which he unequivocally witnessed my appreciation and consideration for Portuguese doctors and for the work they do” he added.

Throughout the three-hour meeting, according to the Prime Minister, there was “a very useful conversation about the contribution of the Portuguese Medical Association” in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the work of the National Health Service.

“We have to prepare for the worst. We naturally want there to be no second wave of the COVID-19, but we have to prepare for the risk of the second wave. We want a vaccine, but we have to prepare for the possibility of the vaccine not arriving so quickly “, he illustrated. For this reason, in the politician’s eyes, “it is essential not to let your guard down.”

“It is required that, on the part of all entities, the State or public associations such as the Order of Doctors, or even institutions of the social sector, an enormous effort is made to work together. There is no world without failures, and we must do more than throwing stones, more than pointing the finger, we must try to respond in concrete to the realities that exist”, he concluded.