Legionella forces ARS to replace VRSA Health Center plumbing

The detection of Legionella in the water at the Vila Real de Santo António Health Center, last July, forced […]

tap waterThe detection of Legionella in the water of the Vila Real de Santo António Health Center, last July, forced the Regional Health Administration (ARS) of the Algarve to replace the old pipework of this health unit, where the presence of the dangerous bacteria already had been 'previously detected'.

The same problem has the Basic Emergency Service in this city, whose pipework is already being replaced by the Centro Hospitalar do Algarve (CHA), assured the public institute, which also guarantees that there are no «risk situations for professionals or users».

This Friday, the Health Regulatory Authority (ERS) published a report dated September, which revealed to have found Legionella in the water of the pipes of both Vila Real health units and in which it warned of the imminent danger to public health that hence it came.

The regulatory authority considered, in the report it produced following an inspection of the Health Center and the SUB of VRSA, that «health care is being provided, in the two health establishments concerned, in breach of the minimum quality standards and security requirements'. He even advised closing the units if the situation was not quickly resolved.

In the response given by ARS do Algarve to ERS, at the time, this entity reported “the difficulty of eradicating the bacteria due to the state of the water network that serves the building where the Health Center and SUB of Vila Real de Saint Anthony».

In reaction to the publication of this report, ARS do Algarve ensured that corrective measures were taken soon after being informed of the result of this “routine inspection”. «The recommended technical measures were taken immediately to resolve the situation (thermal shock and chemical shock) and eliminate any risk. The water network, where Legionella had previously been detected, was replaced in a work completed in September», assured the public entity that manages the Health sector in the Algarve.

Meanwhile, the ERS technicians will have returned to the VRSA Health Center on October 12th and "confirmed the completion of the work".

With regard to the SUB, «the Board of Directors of ARS Algarve has already ordered the Administration of the Hospital Center of the Algarve to also replace the SUB's plumbing until the end of November, and the CHA reports that it is complying with the guidelines ».

Following the publication of the ERS report, several news emerged that reported the existence of the Legionella bacteria in the water of the VRSA Health Center and SUB pipes in an “erroneous way”, according to the ARS. The PSD deputies elected by Algarve Cristóvão Norte and José Carlos Barros were also quick to react to the result of the inspection carried out in July, in a note sent to the newsrooms.

“It is important to know what measures the government is taking, if it is carrying out works to correct the situation and eradicate it or if it is letting it painfully drag on with danger to public health . The conclusions cannot leave users and employees at all restful and oblige public entities to act promptly», they considered.