Pediatric Emergency Department at the Hospital of Faro may have to be provided by General Practitioners

On the days when the Portimão maternity ward was closed, only 9 of the 47 deliveries made in Faro were pregnant women from Barlavento

The Pediatric Emergency at the hospital of Faro it is not closed until Saturday, but often it will have to be provided by the «Basic Emergency Department, which does not have a pediatrician there».

The explanation was given to the Sul Informação by Ana Varges Gomes, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve (CHUA), following a complaint from the Independent Union of Doctors that the pediatric emergency department in the Algarve capital will be unattended for the next five days, between 9 am and 00:21, from this Monday to Saturday.

Ana Gomes admits that it is «a situation that is nothing new» and has been going on «since last November». “There are days when we are working with the help of general practitioners who are in the Emergency Department”, she added.

The reason for this lack of pediatricians to provide emergency care in the specialty is the fact that the vast majority of doctors are over 50 years old, and are therefore exempt from emergency care.

Despite admitting the problem, the chairman of the Board of Directors of CHUA says that she does not know whether, in fact, the Pediatric Emergency Department of the main Algarve hospital will be working or not. “It will depend on the availability of service providers [the doctors on duty] to complete the scales,” she said.

As for the alleged lack of nurses, which could lead to the closure of the cesarean section of the Delivery Block of the hospital in Faro, denounced last week by the Nurses' Union, Ana Varges Gomes recognizes the problem of lack of nursing professionals at CHUA.

«We want to hire more nurses and, for that very reason, we are even contacting the Nursing Schools, to hire them as soon as they are trained», he guaranteed.

With regard to the possible closing of the cesarean section and the danger that this could represent for parturients and babies, that person in charge clarifies that this situation does not arise, since “there is a contingency plan” in the hospital for Faro, according to which, whenever necessary, «professionals from the central unit provide support to the delivery unit».

referring to the six days in which the Emergency Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Portimão hospital was closed, once again due especially the lack of pediatricians, forcing pregnant women to be transferred to Faro, the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of CHUA revealed, in her statements to the Sul Informação, that «in all these days there was no cesarean section».

«In these days, there were 47 births in Faro, of which only 9 were pregnant from Barlavento. We even had fewer births than usual. And what we need is more babies to be born», said Ana Varges Gomes.

However, the PSD/Algarve has already criticized, in a statement, that the Pediatric Emergency Department in Faro stay uncovered between Monday and Saturday.

Cristóvão Norte, president of PSD Algarve, stresses that «this is the new normal, serious symptoms of a chronic and structural disease, much more acute in the Algarve, which requires fundamental measures from the point of view of management, careers, training , remuneration, etc. Without this, we will see the SNS increasingly drained and, therefore, those who have money take out insurance, those who do not have their health postponed, which often amounts to being denied”.

In their communiqué, the Algarve social democrats point out that «the CHUA Board of Directors did well when it publicly revealed the inadequacy of Portimão's maternity, in order to prevent pregnant women from going to her and wasting precious time, and should adopt the same procedure in all specialties, putting it online, so that patients would have access to this information, which was not done'.