Social Democratic Algarve MP, Cristóvão Norte, has been looking at the performance figures for the regional national health service and concludes that they don’t make happy reading.
Norte has sent his analysis to the press: "up to and including April, there was a decrease of 21% in scheduled surgeries, 6% decrease in first and subsequent consultations and, even more worrying, an increase of more than 8% in deaths recorded during hospitalisation and basic emergencies."
The MP says he has questioned the health minister "more than once, but he said he did not know of the report in question".
The same document states that last weekend, without zero orthopedic cover in Faro, three patients were sent to Portimão, sent back to Faro and again sent to Portimão.
This senseless merry-go-round causes distress, especially in elderly patients and shows, "the inability to respond by those who find themselves armed with insufficient resources."
Cristóvão Norte notes, "the exponential increase in complaints registered in 2017 compared to 2016: a 103% increase compared to a growth of 18% in the rest of the country, from 2,762 to 5,596 complaints, with Portimão being the Health Center that has received the most complaints in the country, with Albufeira and Faro in the top ten."
The MP says that, "the Government has to choose the Algarve as a national health priority: we have long had the worst numbers, these losses are dramatic and the complaints are the expression of pain and despair that has been gently ignored.
“...we are going backwards in patient access and clinical output - healthcare can not be denied to the Algarve."