The Social Security Assistance Service of São Bartolomeu de Messines will only work for six days throughout the current month of June, a situation that led to a protest by the Movement of Users of Public Services of the Algarve (MUSP Algarve), this morning, in front of those services. .
Questioned by Sul Informação on the reasons for the closing of the branch, the Social Security Institute, through its press office, replied that this is due to “the entry into the normal holiday period” and the “less availability of human resources”.
Our newspaper knows that this «lower availability» is due to the fact that there are several employees of that service in Messines who are on sick leave because of Covid-19 or taking exams in courses they are attending.
It is certain that this «lower availability» forced an «adjustment of the usual opening hours of the São Bartolomeu de Messines Customer Service».
In this sense, during the month of June, face-to-face service only works “on the 1st, 8th, 9th, 15th, 22nd and 29th, between 9:00 am and 13:00 pm and 14:00 pm and 16:00 pm”.
Carla Benedito, president of the Parish Council of Messines, in statements to the local newspaper «Terra Ruiva», said that she had information that this situation would last for the months of June, July, August and September. The reason given was «lack of personnel» both in Messines and even in Silves, the county seat.
Carla Benedito also expressed her fear that this is another step towards the definitive closure of this service, which, according to Terra Ruiva, «has an average of more than 30 calls per day and to which people even travel from neighboring parishes» .
The Social Security press office, in its response to the questions posed yesterday by the Sul Informação, presents as an «alternative» that «customers» go «to the Silves Customer Service, at Rua do Correio, in Silves, or any other service close to the Social Security. The non-face-to-face service channels are also available, namely Direct Social Security, video service and the Social Security Line”.