Loulé will have the first University Health Center in the Algarve

Investment in the Health Services Building reaches almost 5 million euros and will be paid in 65% by the Loulé Chamber

The first University Health Center in the Algarve, a Community Care Unit that will serve the 70 users of the municipality, new facilities for the Lauroé Family Health Unit and the new headquarters of the Algarve Health Center Group (ACES) The Central will work in the building of the future Health Unit of Loulé, whose contract consignment and laying of the first stone are scheduled for next Thursday, September 8th, at 10:00 am.

The planned investment is around 5 million euros (4,96 million), largely financed by the Municipality of Loulé (65%) and the remaining 35% by the Central Administration. The expected execution period is two and a half years.

In an interview with Sul Informação, Vítor Aleixo, president of the municipality of Loulé, stressed that this new health building will be built «on the land behind the current Health Center».

The mayor recalled that this investment began to be outlined in 2010, when a protocol was signed between the Loulé Chamber (then chaired by the social democrat Seruca Emídio) and the Regional Health Administration (ARS) of the Algarve, according to which the Municipality would provide land for the installation of ACES Central and a health unit. However, “because the terrain did not support the defined program”, this work did not progress.

In May 2016, with Aleixo as mayor, a second protocol was signed, which defined “the financial responsibilities” of both parties and changed the location of the building.



One of the pressing needs is to relocate the USF Lauroé (which serves around 14 people, from Loulé, Ameixial, Cortelha), which has been operating so far in containers, “which were temporary, became eternal and degraded”. “At one point, there were infiltrations, problems of insecurity with the electrical installations, there were safety problems”, recalls Aleixo, a situation that was denounced by one of the doctors of that USF, who shared photos of consultations given with an open umbrella on social media. These images went viral on the internet and generated a lot of news in the media.

“The Loulé Chamber did not wait for the facilities, according to the protocol, to be paid for by the Ministry of Health, and we said: in addition to the land, we still put the money” to solve the problem, adds the mayor. "We didn't have to do it, it's not our responsibility, but if we didn't, things wouldn't work".

ARS only pays 35% of the total investment (corresponding to ACES Central), while the rest of the works (65%) are paid for by the City Council.

One of the premieres of the new Loulé Health Building will be the creation of a University Health Center, under the responsibility of ABC – Algarve Biomedical Center. It will be the first in the Algarve and one of the first in the country.

«At a time when there is so much talk about disinvestment in Health, the construction of this building, integrated in the National Health Service (SNS) network, is here an example of how the central administration, articulated with the local administration, promotes an investment in value of 5 million euros», considers Vítor Aleixo.



But the Loulé Chamber's investment in the SNS does not stop here. «In a few days, the expansion of the Almancil Health Extension will be inaugurated», an intervention carried out in coordination with ARS Algarve and which includes the creation of a waiting room, a service desk, eight medical offices, sanitary facilities and storage, totaling about 200 square meters. This is a global investment of around 300 thousand euros, paid by the Municipality.

«Almancil has grown a lot in recent years and needed this improvement», explained Vítor Aleixo, in his interview with Sul Informação. In terms of population, «after the parishes of Quarteira and São Clemente, Almancil follows immediately».


NOTE: The text of this article was corrected at 20:35, removing a reference to the possible non-transfer of the total services from ACES Central to the new building.

This is the clarification received from the office of the Mayor of Loulé, in this regard:

«The content of the interview given by the mayor of Loulé to the Sul Informação, in the part that refers to the relationship with the president of ARS Algarve, gave rise to a conversation held between them during which it was clarified that there was no change to the services of ACES Central currently operating in Faro and moving to the new building in Loulé.
It was clarified that this was an error in the interpretation of the information that reached the mayor of Loulé during the interview.
It is thus clarified that the program planned for the building will be fully complied with.
The Mayor of Loulé regrets what happened and apologizes».