Order of Doctors fires back at delusional Health Minister for “hiding reality of the Algarve’s hospitals”
The Order of Doctors said today that Health Minister’s statement that there is “no shortage of doctors” at Faro Hospital is “absolutely false”, after she refused to acknowledge the issues plaguing the hospital’s surgical team, that have resulted in surgeons warning that they will refuse to work overtime after the 1st of January.
“It does not seem to me that there is a shortage of doctors at the Algarve University Hospital Centre (Faro Hospital.” These are the words of Marta Temido, health minister. “The figures are public showing the number of health professionals that exist in the National Health Service and specifically in these hospitals,” argued the health minister to reporters on Friday in Braga, reacting to information about A&E struggles in many of Portugal’s hospitals.
“In the face of this false statement, the Order of Doctors cannot fail to restore the truth. Also, as the president of the Order of Doctors, Miguel Guimarães, was on Thursday at Faro Hospital where he investigated the urgency that was being called for. The next few weeks could have periods without any surgeons,” the explained the Order in a statement issued today.
On Friday, the Health Minister also said that in the case of Faro Hospital, this month’s plan is “complete”, and that if necessary and internal teams feel unable to do overtime work, there are “alternative teams”. These are of course the teams which the hospital’s doctors believe are the root of the problem, as they receive higher pay whilst leaving patients without continuity of car.
The Order of Doctors states that “the problems reported were cross-cutting to various specialties, and yet there are doctors who want to join the hospital staff and have simply been awaiting tender or authorization from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance for long months.”
The Order of Doctors “regrets” that Mrs. Temido “conceals the reality of the Algarve”.
The hospital is of incredible importance not just to the Algarve, but to the country as a whole. According to figures from the Central Administration of the Health System itself, as shown in this year’s published report, Faro Hospital “is the hospital centre of the country with the largest volume of medical services delivered to patient, totalling 238,706 hours in 2018,” underlines the Order.
In addition, the statement revealed that “doctors worked in 2018 an 8% increase over 2017,” adding that “the region has 2.4 doctors per 1,000 inhabitants, only Alentejo has fewer, and the national average is 2.9 in the National Health Service”.
“If these numbers are not enough for the Minister of Health to acknowledge the serious shortage affecting the Algarve, which should be a national priority, then the minister should explain the unacceptable waiting times that leave people without access to healthcare in time” argued the president of the Order in the statement.
He points out that, in the Algarve, a patient has to wait, for example, a staggering average of 1,400 days for a priority orthopaedic consultation.
While in the case of pneumology, a 718 day waiting time is required, and for Urology this value is 663 days.
According to the chairman, for surgery “the scenario is no better”, with waits of 248 days for neurosurgery, 195 days for ophthalmology, 185 days for otolaryngology, 160 days for urology, and 132 days for orthopaedics.
“Enough with trying to deceive citizens by spreading false news. If, instead of denying reality, the minister tried to take care of the existing problems, the NHS and its professionals would at least feel more respected, ” concludes the statement, signed by the Order of Doctors.