Manuel Pizarro came to the Algarve to meet mayors «in a desperate situation»

Lack of doctors is a serious problem in municipalities like Monchique, Aljezur and Vila do Bispo. Castro Marim is concerned about works at the USF

«The position of a mayor who sees the population suffer for this basic need, which are primary health services, is desperate». The phrase is from Paulo Alves, mayor of Monchique, but the feeling will be extended to his "neighbors" of Vila do Bispo and Aljezur, who also received yesterday, the 23rd, the visit of Manuel Pizarro, Minister of Health, within the scope of the “Open Health” initiative.

The lack of health professionals, namely family doctors, was the main concern expressed to the member of the Government by the city council executives of these three municipalities.

It was no coincidence, moreover, that Monchique, where only one doctor of Cuban nationality currently works, was the first municipality to be visited within the scope of this initiative, during which the 16 Algarve municipalities received the minister or one of his two secretaries of state.

Manuel Pizarro revealed that he chose Monchique to start his tour of the region precisely because it was the municipality «with the greatest difficulties», taking into account that, in a municipality that already has few doctors, two of the existing ones are on extended leave.



Yesterday, in statements to TSF, Paulo Alves, mayor of Monchique, called the situation “critical” – as I had already said to Sul Informação.

The lack of response from primary health care, namely the difficulty in securing medical consultations, which obliges people to go «at 4 am to the door of the Health Centre», is even more felt in an area «of low density, with an aging population and a large territorial extension».

The minister promised solutions and told journalists that, despite the fact that the Algarve is not on the list of regions with positive discrimination, "which concern interior hospitals", there will be "other programs for family doctors in various areas of the country and also in this part of the Algarve».

«I am convinced that the coming months will be very positive for primary health care in the Algarve, because this visit will result in concrete measures, which will make there more professionals and more access to health, which is what we all want», he revealed. the minister, later, on a visit to the municipality of Portimão.

For now, and with regard to Monchique, the Ministry «has opened a competition to be able to recruit for the staff» the only doctor who is at work, who is already being supported by the Chamber, in terms of housing.



Very close by, it was also possible to fix doctors, with the help of the municipality.

«In Vila do Bispo, we have a couple of young family doctors, from the north of the country, who have settled in the county. There was a tender from the Ministry of Health and support from the City Council, which facilitated access to housing», according to the minister.

Even so, highlighted the Vila do Bispo Council in a press release, Rute Silva, the mayor, did not miss the opportunity to "transmit her concern about the lack of human resources, whether doctors, nurses and technical assistants at the Health Center, noting that the two existing doctors at the service are insufficient to respond to the requested primary health care, as well as the nursing service».

«The acquisition of a home support vehicle, the implementation, in Vila do Bispo, of the project “Decentralized Consultations – CHUA + Proximidade”, which consists of ensuring specialist consultations at the Health Centre, the opening of a permanent assistance service ( SAP), with resource consultation/reinforcement and consultation of the day/open, the refurbishment of the facilities of the health extension of Budens and the commitment to the modernization and security of the computer systems in order not to record the failures to schedule recurring consultations resulting from the Breakdowns in the current system were other concerns expressed», added the Chamber.



The municipal executive of Aljezur, which was another of the municipalities visited by the minister – who was also in Portimão, Lagos and Faro -, is also concerned about the «lack of general and family health doctors», but also with «the functioning of the Mobile Health Unit of Aljezur, the best use of the equipment in the physiotherapy room and the dentist’s office, acquired by the Municipality of Aljezur, and the concern with the model of transferring competences to the municipality, in the area of ​​health».

In Castro Marim, Minister Pizarro was not present, but Secretary of State for Health Ricardo Mestre, who met with the executive of the City Council and visited the USF - Baesuris.

President Francisco Amaral expressed his concern regarding the rehabilitation works of this USF in Castro Marim.

For the City Council, if the transfer of competences in the area of ​​health «represents a closer monitoring of the population, it also represents a much higher financial commitment than that which is likely to be framed in the application submitted to the Recovery and Resilience Plan» .



Also trained as a doctor and still on a voluntary basis at the Hospital de Faro, Francisco Amaral took the opportunity to underline the well-known weaknesses of the SNS in the Algarve, which has «external consultations with years of waiting list and with the scheduling of auxiliary diagnostic exams taking several months», in which «there is no dermatologist for two years» and in which «surgery checks are sent to hospitals, all of them above Porto».

This is an "unreasonable" situation, in the opinion of the mayor of Castro-Marinense, especially in the case of the population of the interior, with many mobility difficulties.

Regarding the territory of Castro Marim, «although we are doing reasonably well in terms of primary health care», Francisco Amaral referred to the health extension in Azinhal where there has been no doctor for two years.

For his part, the Secretary of State for Health underlined that the objective is "to get the SNS to reach everyone", pointing to the transfer of competences as a way to enhance synergies that even already happen with the municipalities.

The mayor of Alcoutim praised this first edition of the Saúde Aberta initiative, saying he hoped that «these visits and active listening in the field will continue so that we can combat SNS comorbidity and change the paradigm».


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