The coordinator of the task force for the vaccination program in Portugal has announced in parliament today that the much needed 150 rapid Covid-19 vaccination centres will start operating in early May.
Asked by deputies of the parliamentary health committee, Vice Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo started by stating that the 150 centers will be opened on April 11, but said that “we aim to have these centres operating from the beginning of May".
Gouveia e Melo said that the ways in which the necessary health professionals will be hired for these units are being negotiated, with an estimated number of 2,500 nurses, 400 doctors and 2,300 assistants being needed. He said that the professionals will be essentially from the National Health Service (SNS), but others will be hired as necessary.
“The idea is to use up to 20% of the 9,000 nurses who are in primary health care, then additional nurses from alternative resources ”he said.
According to the official, in rapid vaccination posts, the efficiency of the process is four times higher than vaccination in normal health centers.
“With the same human resources, we managed to have a much higher efficiency in this process, in addition to convenience, in addition to physical security, because they are made in large airy spaces, which allows greater security and physical distance”, defended Gouveia e Melo.
Left Bloc deputy Moisés Ferreira considered it to be “a bit of a paradox” for the task force coordinator to say it is necessary to hire thousands of professionals, including nurses, at a time when the Portuguese Nurses Union says that there are almost 2,000 professionals in a precarious situation, with a risk of being dismissed from the SNS.
“Perhaps there is an obvious solution here, which is not to dismiss nurses who are in a precarious situation, but to give them a dignified and stable contract”, defended the deputy blocker.
The Covid-19 pandemic has already caused 16,845 deaths in Portugal, among the 821,104 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.
Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/