The Commission of Users of the National Health Service (SNS) have planned for Saturday a demonstration outside Portimão Hospital in protest against the decline of clinical services, demanding greater investment for healthcare in the region.
"The Algarve continues to be one of the regions most affected by the degrading policies of the SNS, where public divestment, closure of services and rationing of resources, are signs of the attack on the service," Pedro Martins, one of the members of the commission, told Lusa whilst promoting the protest in Portimão.
According to Mr. Martins, healthcare in the Algarve “has been declining, year after year, in hospitals and health centres, due to the passivity of political leaders”, who “do nothing” to solve the problem, despite the “constant” warnings and demands of those in contestation against the lack of action. "Public health services have worsened in quantity and quality, facilitating the conditions for the transfer of health care to private groups operating in the sector and surviving on public funds that are diverted from the National Health Service," said the spokesman.
He continued, claiming that the lack of working and care conditions at the Portimão hospital, the long waiting times for consultations and surgeries, and “the stark lack of doctors, nurses and assistants, has motivated constant complaints from patients and health professionals alike”.
The patient movement is demanding “answers to the problems that have been identified for a long time” from the Government, and they promise “to not give up fighting until there are answers to improve care in public health units in the Algarve”,
For the SNS Users Commission, the creation of the Central University Hospital of the Algarve “did not improve the situation of Algarve hospitals”, having even aggravated the cracks in the system they argue.
The demonstration to demand the hiring of more health professionals and better quality in public hospital services is scheduled for Saturday, at 15:30, at the main entrance of Portimão Hospital.