A petition demanding the construction of the new Hospital Central do Algarve, whose first subscriber is Cristóvão Norte, president of the PSD/Algarve, has already gathered XNUMX signatures, on the ride to the Festa do Pontal, where the initiative was launched.
The social democrat took advantage of his party's traditional political reentry event, which took place on Sunday in Quarteira, to launch this petition to the Assembly of the Republic and the Government and, "right on the occasion, in an expression of great support, 1000 signatures'.
«The objective is to gather at least 7500 signatures in the shortest possible time, so that the matter is discussed in a debate for this purpose in the Assembly of the Republic», revealed the PSD/Algarve.
«The Algarve, all of us, have to show what we want, and that a new hospital, long promised and long postponed, is a fundamental infrastructure to tackle the structural problems facing health in the region. We need a university-oriented hospital that helps to establish health professionals, to create conditions to develop research, to offer better working conditions and to take better care of the health of the Algarve”, explained Cristóvão Norte.
Over the next few months «several initiatives will be carried out to collect signatures and mobilize the Algarve for this cause».
The petition “New Hospital Central do Algarve Now” in full
Under the right of petition provided for in the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic and in Law no. of the Republic.
Excellency Mr President of the Assembly of the Republic,
Excellency Mr Prime Minister,
The completion of a new Central Hospital in the Algarve is an undisputed necessity for the region. Uncontroversial because, since 2003, all governments, without exception, parties, deputies, mayors, orders, unions, among others, have stressed that it is a fundamental infrastructure. Necessity, because the Algarve lacks a modern hospital infrastructure that provides greater differentiation of medical care and that promotes the establishment of human resources in the region. It is not only a social imperative, but also an economic one, which fits into any well-founded thinking about the future of the region.
Even in 2005, the current Government commissioned a study from the Porto Management School, led by Prof. Dr Daniel Bessa, to organize the priorities for the construction of new hospital units. From this study, which considered a wide range of parameters, which included costs, accessibility, quality of offer, among others, the Hospital Central do Algarve was ranked in 2nd place, this list having been approved by Order 12891/2006. Earlier, in 2003, a strategic agreement had been signed that proposed a location for the future unit.
After this commitment, in 2007, the assistance profile and dimension of the new Hospital do Algarve were approved, and the following year the opening of tender procedures and public presentation, which was attended by the then Prime Minister , Jose Socrates.
Negotiations were also opened with qualified consortia, but the process did not make progress.
In 2011, the Government suspended the planned hospitals, in compliance with the rule contained in the Financial Assistance Memorandum of Understanding, in which the State was obliged to reassess all major public works.
In the 2017 State Budget, the Government planned to launch a new generation of hospitals: Hospital de Todos os Santos (Lisbon), Seixal and Évora. These hospitals were ranked 1st, 3rd and 4th, respectively, in the 2006 technical study. Only the new Algarve Central Hospital – which was ranked 2nd – did not advance, with the Minister of Health, Adalberto Campos Fernandes at the time, made statements in order to refer its realization to a date after 2019, despite not having given any justification for the decision to exclude the new Hospital do Algarve from the list of priorities. Although it is part of the Government's program and has even been included in State budgets in recent years, the fact is that the infrastructure has not yet advanced, and there is no known decision-making procedure for it to become a reality.
This postponement is highly harmful to the interests of the region and the Algarve, but also to the country, because:
· It disregards the importance of a new hospital to attract and retain human resources, in particular doctors of specialties that the region suffers from chronically;
· It ignores the importance of responding to an accelerated demographic growth and a notorious tourist evolution, which increasingly considers factors such as safety and available health care;
· It devalues the obligation to offer a greater differentiation of the clinical services provided and, therefore, places the region in greater dependence on other hospitals, namely those located in Lisbon. Patients must be able to be treated in the region;
· It contradicts the commitment to teaching medicine at the University of Algarve, which lacks an academic center of excellence that strengthens the conditions for teaching and developing research. Therefore, it is paradoxical to postulate the ideas of research centers and not to invest in the infrastructures capable of carrying them out;
· The Hospital Central do Algarve is a prerequisite for strengthening the economic and social dynamics of the region, which sees it as an insurmountable element for the realization of its present and future options.
It is, on the other hand, an incomprehensible decision, because:
· There is no distinction of technical foundation, as there is no study that points in the opposite direction to that of 2006. Political decisions must be based on technical evaluations, which is not the case;
· Conflicts with the assumption that the region would be a priority for intervention in the hospital domain, as it has been proven that the Algarve suffers from structural bottlenecks far from being outdated;
· Health care measurement parameters in hospitals in the region have suffered year after year.
In view of the above, the undersigned demand that, as soon as possible and with the sense of urgency that the matter calls for, a decision should be taken to move forward with the new central hospital in the Algarve.