Ministry postponed meetings scheduled for next week with medical unions

Agenda reasons and collaboration with Finance were the reasons presented by the Ministry

The Ministry of Health has postponed the negotiation meetings that were scheduled for next week with the National Federation of Doctors and the Independent Union of Doctors, the respective union leaders told Lusa this Saturday, June 22.

«Contrary to what was scheduled and at the request of the Ministry of Health, the negotiation meeting scheduled for the 25th [Tuesday], at 15pm, was postponed to a date to be designated», says the National Federation of Doctors (FNAM).

Contacted by the Lusa agency, the secretary general of the Independent Union of Doctors (SIM) Nuno Rodrigues said that the meeting with SIM scheduled for Monday was also postponed, but said it was scheduled for July 3rd.

Speaking to the Lusa agency, FNAM president Joana Bordalo e Sá said that the federation received information from the Ministry of Health on Friday night saying that, for "unforeseen and weighty reasons", the meeting scheduled for Tuesday cannot be accomplished.

For the union leader, the postponement of the meeting without a new date set "is not a good sign", adding that the FNAM will demand the Ministry of Health to schedule "a meeting soon" to begin the negotiation process.

«It is imperative that this negotiation happens the faster the better, it cannot be any other way», because «otherwise this summer will be even worse than the others», since there is still a lack of doctors in the National Health Service, warned Joana Bordalo and Sá.

Furthermore, he mentioned that doctors have “great expectations in this negotiation” and, therefore, this postponement “will not exactly be viewed favorably”.

«People are tired, they are exhausted and they need a sign that things can actually resolve or improve the situation» in the National Health Service.

He stressed, however, that he has "some hope" in this negotiation if salary scales and working conditions are included in the negotiating protocol, namely the replacement of 35 hours, the replacement of the medical internship in the career and "fair career progression".

«These were situations that we wanted to see included in the negotiating protocol, and the issue of salary scales would necessarily have to be resolved by the end of September, before the approval of the State Budget», said the leader.