The BE coordinator, Catarina Martins, criticized the “sneaky announcement” and without debate of the closures of maternity hospitals, which in some cases could be definitive, warning that “the beginning of the end of the SNS is at stake”.
“Some maternity hospitals will definitely close as of January. In recent days, the Government’s measures for the SNS have boiled down to service closures, sometimes temporary, sometimes permanent. Nothing was discussed and the sneaky announcement, made by Fernando Araújo, happens during the Christmas break”, wrote Catarina Martins in a publication on social networks in which she left many criticisms of the Government.
For the BE leader, “those who have always stood up for the SNS cannot be silent now” because “what is happening is too serious and it is not just about maternity hospitals”, but “about the entire SNS”.
“Over the years, there have been heated debates about the closure of services in regions where the population was decreasing. (…) This is an important debate, but now something bigger is at stake, the beginning of the end of the SNS is at stake. ’, he warned.
Catarina Martins considered that “services are closed not for lack of users, but for lack of professionals”, accusing the Socialist Government of having refused “all the measures that the left proposed to reinforce professionals in the SNS”.
“Lack of money? No. Today it is news that Portugal had a budget surplus of 2.8% until September. The lack of investment in public services is, as it has always been, a choice”, he accused.
The possibility of “these definitive closures”, in the opinion of the BE coordinator, makes it clear that “the Government has given up on fixing professionals in the SNS”.
“And, without professionals, it ends. Now it will be the maternity wards. And then?”, he questioned.
In an interview with RTP on Thursday, the executive director of the SNS admitted that there are maternity hospitals that may close as of next year.
On Thursday, the Executive Board of the SNS launched the operation ‘Born safely on the SNS’, with the aim of promoting the safety and confidence of pregnant women, children and health professionals from the National Health Service.
In a statement, it states that, “having identified contingencies to the full functioning of the maternity network during the Christmas and New Year period, and in accordance with the recommendations of the Commission for Monitoring the Emergency Response in Gynecology/Obstetrics and the Birth Block ( …) an articulated response was organized at regional level for this period, ensuring the proactive provision of information to the population to inform about the best health options”.