Priority given to former Covid patients in accessing CMRSul outrages citizens with disabilities

Determining Movement says people with serious injuries for months have been waiting for a place at the Algarve rehabilitation center

CMRSul - Photo: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação

The Determinant Movement Association stated, in an Open Letter, its "dislike and amazement" at the creation of a valence for the rehabilitation of patients Covid-19 at the Center for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of the South (CMR Sul), in São Brás de Alportel, when there is "a worrying waiting list, which will last around 5 months" in this institution, of people with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and victims of Cerebral Vascular Accidents (CVA), among others.

The Association of Disabled Citizens, their Caregivers and Friends does not question the right of patients recovered from Covid-19, but with sequelae of the period of internment, to specialized rehabilitation, but rather the fact that this valence «opens at the expense of others , equally in need of it, to whom this rehabilitation has been refused and to whom the delivery of technical aid and support materials has also been postponed”.

People on the waiting list mentioned by Movimento Determinante are "waiting for constantly delayed vacancies", and therefore "with their final rehabilitation seriously compromised by lack of timely medical and therapeutic intervention".

"How are these people going to understand that a ward that has not been reopened for them is now and exclusively for rehabilitation of Covid patients?", asks the association.

Contacted by Sul Informação, the University Hospital Center of the Algarve (CHUA), in which the CMR Sul is included, justified that, in this phase of the pandemic, the São Brasense health unit «received patients working as a rear guard at the Hospital de Faro within the scope of the contingency plan, but kept inpatient rehabilitation open with 31 beds and did not suspend outpatient rehabilitation, ensuring an uninterrupted response to its patients».

Stressing that «CMR South has been evolving and consolidating a path of recovery and growth of its activity», CHUA recalls that, prior to its integration into the hospital, this center «had only 13 active inpatient beds».

"Right now, that capacity has increased to 36 beds, and we are working towards gradually increasing the capacity up to 54 inpatient beds," said the entity.

On the day that this new facility for the rehabilitation of Covid patients was inaugurated, for which «up to 25 beds» will be destined, Ana Castro, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CHUA ensured that the beds now open will continue to be available in the future, to rehabilitate non-Covid patients.

However, the Determinant Movement Association does not accept what it considers to be discrimination.

«This is not the first time that CHUA (University Hospital Center of the Algarve) has used the Center for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of the South to place users of the Hospital de Faro without these pathologies, when it has rehabilitation units in its hospitals, including the one of Faro and that of Portimão», he stresses.

The association also says it does not understand that “patients who have had Covid go ahead of patients on the waiting list, who need assistance and treatment in order to have (or maintain) some quality of life. But since these didn't have Covid, it's not important! After all, they are only a social minority about whom much is said, but about whom very few want to know», he accuses.

“We are an association for the defense of the rights of people with disabilities and their families and caregivers, with our own experience on the consequences of the lack of medical and therapeutic intervention at the right time. Defending the dignity of CMR Sul and the patients who need it is one of our forms of social intervention for a democratic society. For us, there are no first-rate or second-rate patients, just as there are no first-rate or second-rate Portuguese. And for you?”, ends the Determining Movement.



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