Passos Coelho says the Algarve needs a new hospital to attract more doctors

"There is a limit to what can be done to improve the service provided" in hospitals that today […]

«There is a limit to what can be done to improve the service that is provided» in the hospitals that exist in the Algarve today, so «without a new infrastructure, it will be very difficult to convince new doctors and new nurses to stay here, to accept training here, even if the connection to the University of Algarve can improve this capacity to attract», considered the president of the PSD Pedro Passos Coelho.

The leader of the Social Democrats was this Tuesday, May 30, at the Hospital de Faro, where he met with the Board of Directors of the Centro Hospitalar do Algarve and with representatives of health professionals.

In the end, he said that his party does not accept that, given the financial availability for the construction of new hospital structures, the Hospital Central do Algarve is not a priority, guaranteeing that he only did not launch the project when he was prime minister due to lack of funds.

“The hospital didn't move forward because, at the time, we didn't have the money to do it. This is unmistakable. Neither this one nor others, although we opened eight hospitals during our time in government and supposedly there was no money," he said.


“We have known for many years that the Algarve needs a new hospital. We know we cannot build it from one year to the next. But we do not accept that the Government has included the construction of new hospitals in the State Budget for 2017 and that the Algarve is not among the four priorities", considered the PSD leader, recalling that this investment was already "the second priority, together with Madeira and Lisbon».

Passos Coelho said that, while he was in Government, the option was to channel existing resources “to improve emergency services”. «In addition to small investments in equipment, we made a remodeling of the emergency rooms at both the Hospital de Faro, as in Portimão. But we are aware that this does not solve the problem, despite improving the situation for a while», he illustrated.

Investing in the improvement of what already exists was the same path that the current PS Government, which announced investments of 19 million euros in hospitals in the Algarve by the end of 2019 (11,2 million in 2017). Here, the leader of the PSD considers that "there is a rhetoric that does not match reality", since, of the amount announced, "none has yet been invested".

"The reality we have needs to be improved, with realism and without demagoguery", he defended.


The problems that were reported by the different stakeholders in the meetings in which Pedro Passos Coelho participated are not new, despite the PSD leader defending that they were "aggravated" with the current Government. But, in the view of the former prime minister, the option to merge the three Algarve hospitals was a good measure.

«I think that the creation of the Centro Hospitalar do Algarve was a good decision. And so much so that I have no idea that the current Government wants to go back with the model. I still haven't heard any government official say that it is necessary to undo this Hospital Center, disintegrate the services and return to having a unit in Portimão and another one here in Faro", said.

Technically, there is no intention on the part of the Government to return to the previous situation (Hospital de Faro and Centro Hospitalar do Barlavento Algarvio), but there is still on the table a solution that, in practice - and taking into account the guarantees given by the president of the Algarve Regional Health Administration in an exclusive interview with Sul Informação – will return to these health units part of the autonomy lost with the merger.

The president of the PSD, on the other hand, speaks of the need to “improve the organizational model”. “I think that what we've done makes sense – having more critical mass managed in a more articulated way. But it is obvious that it can bring some inefficiencies if the way in which the organization takes place is not logical afterwards,” he said.