Block dedicates last week of campaign in the Algarve to health and active aging

Catarina Martins highlighted the importance of electing a left-wing deputy in the Algarve

The Algarve Left Bloc delegation dedicated the last week of the campaign to health, meeting with nurses, ULS administration, Association for mental health and Center for active aging. 

José Gusmão, Catarina Martins, Guadalupe Simões, Sandra da Costa and João Afonso came across complaints common to all these departments: «lack of professionals, financing needs, gaps in training».

The day began at a meeting with the Portuguese Nurses Union, who demand that their careers be valued. Guadalupe Simões, leader of the Nurses Union and second candidate on the Bloco de Esquerda list for Faro, declared: «The Algarve region is the most needy in the country and needs health professionals with specialized training and decent working conditions that allow these professionals to settle in the NHS and specifically in the Algarve region».

José Gusmão also added that «it is essential to include current operational assistants in the career of auxiliary health technicians».

A meeting followed with the administration of ULS in the Algarve, which stated its intention to internalize complementary means of diagnosis and analysis, counting on the creation of ten diagnostic centers in as many health centers.

The complaint again included the lack of professionals in some specialties. José Gusmão was concerned about the huge shortages in terms of specialties and family doctors.

«António Costa's promise to be a family doctor for all Portuguese is very far from being fulfilled in the Algarve and the situation in many specialties is very serious. There are dozens of doctors missing,” he said.

The administration reiterated that the construction of the new Algarve Hospital does not take away the dimension and importance of the hospitals in Portimão and Lagos, as the Left Bloc has been defending.

During the visit to the Algarve Mental Health Association (ASMAL), the Bloco de Esquerda delegation recognized the importance of the institution in the reintegration of users into the job market.

The process is carried out under the supervision of qualified professionals and in conjunction with the Institute of Employment and Professional Training. A service that has been running for 33 years in a region with a particular incidence of mental health problems.

José Gusmão, head of the list for Faro, who also closely monitors mental health and disability policies in the European Parliament, said: “We will continue to put forward proposals to improve independent living conditions for those who have mental health problems or some type of disability. And we will make these proposals in collaboration with the people affected themselves. We will demand local responses, such as with regard to pedopsychiatry, an area in which there is only one specialist in the Algarve».

The Left Bloc also visited the Coordinating Center for Active Aging, a public project that aims to improve quality of life after the age of 65, to counter current health indicators in this age group.

«There is no unit that responds to the needs of people who are getting older. The answer that exists
is not designed for the needs of these users. And those who care for these elderly people are left without any alternative or autonomy. The Bloc proposes the creation of a National Care Service, which provides public responses to daycare centers, nursing homes, assistants for people with disabilities, support for informal caregivers, among others», the note reads.

Catarina Martins highlighted the importance of electing a left-wing deputy in the Algarve: «In the last elections, the left lost its representation in the Assembly of the Republic. According to polls, the Left Bloc is the only left-wing party with prospects of electing one of the nine deputies in the region».