Cristóvão Norte, a PSD Member of Parliament, has spotted that cuts in the regional healthcare budget will make it unlikely that any more Doctors can be hired for the Algarve’s understaffed hospitals and clinics.
The Algarve MP intervened during a parliamentary debate involving the Minister of Health, arguing that "the attention and priority that the minister has devoted to the Algarve, although well received, have no budgetary translation, which makes it impossible for such measures to be achieves unless the Government undertake budgetary changes that undo the cuts that the National Health Service has suffered this year in the Algarve."
"The promises that the minister made in the Algarve recently are goals that we share, but they conflict with the planned cuts in funds, as an increased 30 family doctors is needed." said Norte.
The PSD deputy also said that the Algarve’s emergency services for the transport of patients were understaffed, leaving the region with a deficit in its emergency response capabilities.”
The Minister of Health visited the region in early March and said he is committed to ending "undue hardship" in the Algarve caused by the lack of doctors and that the solution of transferring patients to other hospitals outside the region is hardly a long-term one.
Minister Adalberto Campos Fernandes said he intends to encourage doctors and health professionals to move to the region and committed to a May 31st 2016 deadline to sort out staffing problems.
The minister said the Algarve will not start the summer season with unacceptable difficulties brought about by staff shortages.
The president of mayors’ group AMAL, Jorge Botelho, said that he liked what he had heard, but expected some action.
Botelho said that the minister’s March 11th speech was "frankly encouraging" and the Minister of Health and the new directors of the Algarve’s hospitals are entitled to a "state of grace" allowed by the mayors of the Algarve.
Cristóvão Norte’s interjection in parliament today has pointed out the obvious flaw in the Minister of Health’s statements, that if budgetary constraints remain in play there will be no funds available for new Doctors..