“New” Hospital Terras do Infante is «the possible dream»

Minister of Health presided over the official opening of the Lagos hospital unit, which is new to the SNS

The Hospital, now called Terras do Infante, in Lagos, is «the possible dream», said today Hugo Pereira, mayor of this Algarve city, at the ceremony of inauguration unit, by the Minister of Health.

«What Lagos aspired to was to have a new unit, made from scratch», continued the mayor, saying that it was, however, necessary to «come back to reality» and accept that «it is still a dream to replace the old building, with 500 years» where the hospital in Lagos used to work.

This hospital, now integrated into the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve (CHUA), works in facilities built for a private unit, which from here came out last January, the building continues to be owned by a private health group.

President Hugo Pereira recalled this, saying that the building “is not a State heritage”, but warning that “don't ever think about closing [this hospital] again, because Lagos would never forgive”.

The Health Minister reassured the mayor, referring to the new services and equipment that the Terras do Infante Hospital, "already in full operation" for months, is now equipped with and what will still happen. «In January, the Ophthalmology Service will start operating», which will have the capacity to carry out «10 thousand consultations per year and 3 thousand eye surgeries», mainly for cataracts, «a disease that is not serious, but has a huge impact on quality of life. people", announced Manuel Pizarro.

In terms of ophthalmology, «we will respond to the needs of all the people of the Algarve, maintaining the services we have in Faro and in Portimão, but adding here an enormous potential» for consultations and surgeries, guaranteed the minister.



Ana Varges Gomes, chairman of the CHUA Board of Directors, added that this will be "the largest ophthalmological center in the region" and will allow "to end the waiting list" in ophthalmology in the Algarve, with the support of the three municipalities that make up the Association of Municipalities Terras do Infante (Lagos, Aljezur and Vila do Bispo).

But this is not the only improvement that the Hospital Terras de Infante brings to the National Health Service: two operating rooms were created (which the old hospital in Lagos did not have), and the right wing of the current building was transformed and re-equipped to hospitalization, as well as reinforced outpatient surgery. Investments were also made in terms of various diagnostic equipment and in the clinical analysis laboratory.

Ana Varges Gomes said that this hospital will provide users with “care in many more specialties”, namely after-work consultations in Pediatrics, which are important for parents, or Palliative Medicine and Oncology, “which we did not have”.

With modern and accessible facilities, Hospital Terras do Infante is already experiencing an increase in demand. If the old hospital had an average of 40 visits per day, this one is now doing 120. It may mean that users have become more confident, avoiding going to Portimão, but it also highlights the need to reinforce the medical teams and nurses at the Lagos unit.



In fact, this was one of the aspects mentioned by Minister Manuel Pizarro. Referring to the vacancies that were opened throughout the country (namely Algarve) for the training of intern doctors, Pizarro spoke of the «biggest map of opening of vacancies in training in specialties», in a joint effort between his Ministry and the Order of Doctors.

However, he warned, interns who start in January 2023 will only “complete their training within four, five, six years, depending on the specialty”.

Of these, many will end up not staying in the Algarve. Pizarro admitted that «there is a demographic imbalance in the medical profession», «more visible in the most peripheral regions of the country», such as the Algarve.

As for the future of the National Health Service in the Algarve, the minister announced that «the effort does not stop here», guaranteeing that he is «working very intensively with the president of CCDR Algarve to relaunch the Central Hospital program». «Recently the Council of Ministers approved a resolution to relaunch the Hospital Central do Algarve program, I am sure that there will be, in the year 2023, marked evolutions in this matter», he said. 

Later, when questioned by journalists, Manuel Pizarro did not want to commit to a date for the effective start of the process of this new hospital structure, much less for the beginning of the works.

The holder of the Health portfolio also stated that "it is on the agenda the resolution of the theme of the Oncological Center of the Algarve». For the minister it isIt is absolutely clear that the public service cannot be conditioned by any private initiative».

In the afternoon, after participating in the 41st Congress of the Portuguese Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology, which is taking place in Vilamoura. the minister of health goes to the hospital in Faro to preside over the inauguration of the Orthoprosthesis Laboratory, the new AVC Center and the new Intensive Medicine Unit, all integrated into the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve.