The union representing technical and auxiliary hospital staff in the Algarve's national health service sector has warned that workers "are close to exhaustion."
The Union of Workers in Public and Social Functions said this is a situation that "could soon lead to the reduction of beds and the closure of services, as workers are faced with an additional work burden and are close to exhaustion."
The union reps say that they have already tackled the hospital management about staff working excessively long hours but were informed that, yes, there is a lack of personnel but that management is not allowed by the Ministry of Heath to hire more workers.
There is a structural shortage of staff as trained personnel move to the private sector or abroad to better their incomes and careers.
At this moment it is estimated that there are 80 to 100 auxiliary worker jobs that cannot be filled due to the continuing cut-backs and budgetary constraints.
The Minister of Health has been quick to highlight the recruitment of more doctors and nurses for the Algarve region but has not increased the number of vacancies for essential technical and auxiliary staff without which many medical sevices will grind to a halt..