The Minister of Health rejected this Monday the possible closure of the pediatric emergencies in Loures (Lisbon) and Barreiro Montijo (Setúbal), framing these situations in the ongoing work to create a new model of emergencies.
“Whenever things are not working as they should, I get worried about this fact. I must say that, in the specific case of the Lisbon region, this has to be dealt with in the context of the organization of metropolitan emergencies, because that is what we did in other regions of the country”, said Minister Manuel Pizarro.
In Alcácer do Sal (Setúbal), at the start of the Open Health initiative by the municipalities of the Alentejo coast, promoted by the Ministry of Health, the official reacted to a piece of news released this Monday by RTP about the pediatric emergency at the Hospital de Loures.
According to this news, based on a complaint by the Independent Doctors’ Union (SIM), “the pediatric emergency department at the Hospital de Loures will close in March at night and on weekends due to a lack of pediatricians”.
SIM considered the matter “serious” and recalled “that this is the second greatest emergency in the Lisbon metropolitan area.
Alluding to the ongoing work by the executive board of the National Health Service (SNS) for the implementation of a new model for emergencies, the Minister of Health recalled that this reorganization has already been in place in the Porto metropolitan area, “for many years”. and “successfully”.
It involves “guaranteeing an organization model that is simultaneously accessible to users, who know exactly where to look for care, and that allows an organization of available professionals that also does not lead them to professional exhaustion”, he said.
“I am monitoring this situation, but the executive board is working on the model of metropolitan emergencies for the Lisbon region and it will be in this context that this [Loures] It will be resolved,” he said.
Asked about how this model could work, Manuel Pizarro stressed that he still does not have “the answer to that question”.
“In the city of Porto, the metropolitan pediatrics emergency department has been operating for almost 20 years. During the day it operates at both hospitals, at Hospital de Santo António, at the maternal and child centre, and at Hospital de São João, and then during at night the pediatric emergency is concentrated at Hospital de São João”, he explained.
This organization “responds to the demand that exists from people” and does not create “difficulties”, he added.
As for the Lisbon region, he indicated, “it is a subject that is being worked on, because this also has to be discussed with the mayors, professionals, hospital management”, that is, “you have to listen to all people to propose measures that are adequate and safe”.
Asked by the Lusa agency about the situation of the night pediatric emergency at the Centro Hospitalar Barreiro Montijo (CHBM), which SIM said it was aware that it would close from this Wednesday, the minister assured that “it will not close, at least not you can say so.”
“The answer is the same in relation to the issue of the north bank of the Tagus. Work is being done by the executive management, in dialogue with the different hospitals, Garcia de Orta, Setúbal, Barreiro, with professionals, with mayors, to find an operating model that provides quality and safety. This is what is most relevant”, he argued.