The Finance Minister said this Thursday that the pressure on the National Health Service (SNS) “does not stem from any financial constraints”, but rather from the lack of personnel, adding that “it would be easier to solve” if it were that the embarrassment.
“What is happening in relation to our National Health Service does not result from any financial conditioning that has been imposed on it, on the contrary”, declared the Minister of Finance, Fernando Medina, to Portuguese journalists at the entrance to the Eurogroup meeting, in Luxembourg.
According to Fernando Medina, “what is being discussed today is not a financial problem”, but rather “a problem in this specific area of shortage of doctors working in the public sector [obstetrícia e ginecologia]in a special moment of conjuncture, of weekends, of difficulty in organizing these services, but with a more structural dimension, which has to do with the lack of staff”. “If you notice the presentation we made of the Budget [do Estado] for 2022 in the National Health Service, there is a very significant effort, of 700 million euros compared to this year, and we still concluded in the Government a set of measures […] and so we will continue to do what is necessary”, he underlined.
At a time when many hospitals are forced to temporarily close gynecology and obstetrics emergencies, Fernando Medina said that these are areas with “professionals at a more advanced age”, but also with “an important percentage of professionals who exclusively work in the private sector and not in the public sector”. “It’s not an embarrassment [financeiro] and, if that were the dimension and nature of this problem, it would certainly be the easiest part to solve”, he concluded.
In the last few days, gynecology and obstetrics emergencies have been closed all over the country, due to difficulties in ensuring professional scales.
The Minister of Health, Marta Temido, announced a “contingency plan” until September to deal with the problem in the sector and the creation of a commission to monitor the response of gynecology and obstetrics emergencies and hospital delivery blocks, integrating regional coordinators and a national one.