"Today is the World Day of the Sick and the feeling we have is that the post-pandemic is not being prepared and we may have one more spot, but with the patients who have their pathologies aggravated and who have not been treated in a timely manner", Carlos Cortes told reporters at the end of a visit to the Portuguese Institute of Oncology (IPO) Francisco Gentil, in Coimbra.

Cortes regretted that a 'task force' was created in September for non-covid-19 patients and that, after five months, there is "no information about what this group is doing".

For the president of SRCOM, it is important that a consistent plan should have been already presented, so that post-pandemic we are prepared "so that hospitals can welcome these patients again, which are many".

"Recently, we had information that there are thousands of patients who have not been treated, with a 20 percent reduction in referral of cancer patients at national level", said Carlos Cortes, stressing that these situations "will have to be taken care of".

"It seems that we have taken all pandemic situations as a surprise, as something that we did not know could happen", he stressed.

The president of SRCOM considers it "absolutely incomprehensible" that, in five months, that 'task force' has still not presented "any work, a plan and guidelines for how hospitals behave in relation to non-covid-19 patients".

"Hospitals are going to have to prepare themselves in the coming months to accommodate all these patients", he said.

Carlos Cortes praised the work of the Coimbra IPO which, in 2020, and despite the pandemic, increased the number of consultations compared to 2019 by 2.6 percent, in addition to maintaining a "reasonable surgical activity, increasing the number of treatments in the hospital Day and also the hospital referral number throughout the Center region".

"This hospital is central to cancer patients and receives patients from all hospitals in the Centro region, allowing these hospitals to dedicate themselves more to covid-19 pathologies", said the leader, emphasizing the contribution of the Coimbra IPO.