Patients 'face long-term damage' as strike delays ops - hospital boss

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 06-12-2018 08:29:00 · 2 Comments
Patients 'face long-term damage' as strike delays ops - hospital boss

Hospital administrators in Portugal have warned that patients with serious health problems have seen surgeries postponed as a result of a strike by nurses, described the situation as "extremely serious".

"There are several situations of patients who urgently need surgery without being covered by skeleton services [during the strike], which in practice means cancer patients and those who come in through accident and emergencies," Alexandre Lourenço, the president of the Portuguese Association of Hospital Administrators, told Lusa News Agency.

This has happened, Lourenço said, because the skeleton services mandated by the courts for the strike are those typical for a strike of one, two or three days, when in fact the stoppage is to last for over a month, until the end of December.

According to Lourenço, the current situation is "extremely serious" in hospitals where the strike in surgical wings has been going on for a week and a half.

"There are a number of patients who have not been operated on who will have clear damage to their health that will not be restored in the short or long term," he said.

He calls on the Ministry of Health to make public the situation of seriously ill patients whose surgeries have been postponed, or to authorise hospital administrators to do so.

The unions and the Order of Nurses have estimated that the strike in the surgical wings of five public hospitals is leading to the postponement of some 500 operations a day, but Lourenço did not provide hard data from hospitals, opting to highlight the "serious cases" that are not being dealt with.

"We have even already exceeded an assessment of the number of surgeries that are being postponed,” he said, without giving figures. “We are talking about individual cases of patients who because of the seriousness of their health status will be harmed for life by this postponement of [their] operations.”

He stressed the importance of the ministry and unions reaching an agreement to bring the strike to an end, as well as "sensitivity for serious individual cases".


I've never understood how doctors and nurses can strike, causing untold, sometimes permanent, damage.
by Cheryl from USA on 06-12-2018 03:57:00
Shame on them, striking and endangering the health of others.

Their licenses should be revoked.
by B from Lisbon on 06-12-2018 09:40:00
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