A doctor who «always defended patients and the region tooth and nail» and a man with «enormous dedication and intelligence like few others». These were some of the compliments paid to cardiologist Veloso Gomes, who was honored by the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve (CHUA) for his service to this institution and to the Algarve over nearly four decades of his career.
The distinction awarded to Veloso Gomes was one of the highlights of the 1st Congress of Medicine in the Algarve, which took place at the end of February, in Albufeira.
The ceremony was attended by the honoree, but also by his family and friends, with the current director of the Cardiology Service at Hospital de Faro, Jorge Mimoso, taking a “tour” along the path of Veloso Gomes, who, despite being born in the north of the country and having graduated from the University of Porto, did, between 1980 and 1985, an internship at the Hospital de Faro, which had opened three days before the start of its training period.
Since then, Manuel José Veloso Gomes has never left the Algarve, having helped the institution's growth and been linked to the creation of innovative services, of which Via Verde Coronária and the pre-hospital and hospital network for the treatment of Acute Heart Attacks stand out. Myocardium, in the 22 years that he was director of the Cardiology service at Hospital de Faro.
«There is always a bit of emotion when we go back, to relive what was a long life of work in the medical field, especially when a service was provided to the Algarve region that I think was significant», he told the Sul Informação Manuel Veloso Gomes, on the sidelines of the ceremony.
«I am very grateful for this tribute you have paid me, but above all I thank all my collaborators, who worked with me for many years, and my colleagues who built the first large hospital in the Algarve, in Faro, and, later, the second, in Portimão», he added.
The cardiologist recalls that, after the opening of the Hospital de Faro, at the time with 30 doctors, in a region that had long demanded a modern health unit that would respond to the needs of the Algarve, the National Health System grew in the Algarve.
After this first great step in the creation of Hospital de Faro, «new health centers appeared and a complex hospital network was created, but which had golden moments of operation, such as the development of Via Verde Coronária, the pre-hospital emergency network, which was considered the best in the country ».
«We managed to catapult the service to a European level. We reached rates as good as the best hospitals in France, Germany, Spain and Denmark, among others, with the reference network and Via Verde Coronária, with excellent results in reducing mortality from cardiovascular diseases, which is the most important thing, since the patients are what really matter», recalled Veloso Gomes.
«A place without memory serves no one. We have a memory and we think we should recognize those who did so much good for the region. The Doctor. Veloso Gomes is an example of this: he always fought for this hospital, he always fought for the improvement of health care in the Algarve, for the interconnection of care, for more knowledge and training and for better health for all, whether in prevention or treatment» , illustrated to Sul Informação Ana Varges Gomes, the chairman of the Board of Directors of CHUA.
«This homage is very deserved and makes us reposition and remember that this is our mission: to improve the health of Algarve residents and of all those who come to us», he added.
The honoree, throughout his career, lived different moments of the National Health Service, in the region and confesses that there were difficult periods – «in the summer it was not easy (laughs)».
«But it was a great satisfaction, I don't feel tired. Now, we have to make room for young people, as their driving force is the force of development, and encourage them to always do better. The greatest joy we can have is that our children are better than us», concluded Veloso Gomes.