Horácio Guerreiro resigns as clinical director of CHUA

Doctor did not agree with the decision to keep the Portimão delivery block open

Doctor Horácio Guerreiro resigned as clinical director of the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve for not agreeing with the decision of the CHUA Board of Directors to keep the Portimão delivery block open at weekends, despite the shortage of human resources.

This decision, which Ana Varges Gomes told the Sul Informação having been "collegiate", meets what is stipulated in the contingency plan of the Executive Board of the National Health Service.

This plan foresees that the maternity hospital in Portimão closes every 15 days during the summer, but the president of the Board of Directors of CHUA said that «in July, stopovers are already assured on all weekends, in Portimão».

However, in the view of Horácio Guerreiro, this commitment to keeping the maternity hospital in Portimão open could jeopardize the functioning of the birthing block and the pediatric emergency of Faro, something that, in his view, entails risks.

In statements to the Sul Informação, the doctor confirmed that he asked for his resignation from his post in a letter he sent to the Minister of Health «at the end of June».

The reasons given for resigning from his position on the Board of Directors of CHUA were «the wear and tear inherent in the function, the difficulty of finding solutions with the lack of resources and the internal divergence on how those resources, already scarce, are allocated'.

The shortage of doctors that CHUA is struggling with, which is public, forces choices to be made.

«In June, by my decision, we chose to close the Portimão delivery block on weekends, opening only on those that were possible», he recalled.

«However, it was understood that the strategy to be adopted would be to keep the Portimão delivery block open», revealed Horácio Guerreiro.

The former clinical director contested this decision, because he considers that it entails risks, namely in terms of Pediatric Intensive Care, which may have to work in Faro only with a pediatrician, something he considers to be risky.

«I, as a clinical director, have deontological and even criminal responsibility. I felt comfortable with my proposals. Taking on proposals from others that I don't agree with is not good policy », he explained.

Ana Varges Gomes, for her part, ensures that the fact that the maternity hospital in Portimão is open does not jeopardize the functioning of other services.

«Even if Portimão is closed, where there is a lack of neonatologists, the delivery block of Faro, where there is a shortage of gynecologists», he defended.

As for pediatric emergencies, «they always work, or in Faro or in Portimão», says the chairman of the Board of CHUA, who reinforces that the pediatric emergency «is guaranteed in the region», even with the operation of both birth blocks.

Horácio Guerreiro, for his part, assures that there are no «enmities» nor «fundamental differences» with the remaining members of the BoD.

Questioned about the decision of the former clinical director of CHUA, Ana Varges Gomes said she only realized that, «since there are no resources, it is exhausting trying to complete scales».


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