No retired nurses have been hired so far to strengthen the National Health Service (SNS) in the fight against Covid-19, after the prime minister's appeal, according to the Order of Nurses and the Portuguese Nurses' Union (SEP).

"We are not aware of any process of hiring retired nurses for this context. There are recruitment grants, but for hiring in specific hospitals," Guadalupe Simões, national head of the SEP, said in a statement to Lusa.

The Union only agrees with this measure "in the context of a pandemic and an extreme difficulty in hiring nurses because there are none available", factors that reveal "how outlawed the SNS was in terms of human resources and the need for a hiring plan," he added.

Part of the Order of Nurses, Ana Rita Cavaco, revealed that she is also not aware of hiring, in which she does not agree with the measure. "We should not be bringing pensioners in here or there, what we have to do is strengthen public health units and do the best we can within the resources we have and that are disorganised within the SNS," Ana Rita Cavaco told Lusa. Regarding the willingness of these retired professionals to return to the NHS, she said that "they have little interest in returning to work", based on what is known to the Order.

"They are people who have worked many years in a profession of fast wear and risk, and who have never been recognized as such. I don't know if they will want to return after they have given so much to the country", revealed Ana Rita Cavaco. In the opinion of SNS, Guadalupe Simões said that there is "no doubt that there is a great revolt and even some demotivation on the part of nurses who feel they are disposable and are not properly recognized." However, the union leader said that retired professionals "feel that people need them and therefore their availability to patients and services is total." The hiring of these nurses will be done in the same way to retired physicians and will perform functions in the public health units of regional health administrations and local health units, as advanced by the Prime Minister when communicating this measure.