“We really need to strengthen the attraction for doctors. The issue of careers is, for them [doctors], a central issue. The freeze on careers - which has lasted since the time of Socrates' government - and the issue of salaries, until they are resolved, we will not have the National Health Service that we want for our country. And this is a fundamental political option”, said Jerónimo de Sousa.

The communist leader was speaking to journalists after a visit to the Hospital de São Bernardo, which is part of the Setúbal Hospital Center, where 87 doctors responsible for various services in that hospital have resigned, and which the Medical Association itself says to be one of the NHS hospitals with the most problems, due to the lack of adequate facilities and medical professionals.

"We came to see this hospital reality, a very important means for 250,000 people who, in a very dispersed territory, face the problems that are known and, particularly, what is currently a problem for the National Health Service, namely the lack of professionals, particularly doctors”, he said.

According to Jerónimo de Sousa, who recalled the PCP's contribution to the investment of 17 million euros planned for the expansion of the Hospital de São Bernardo, the NHS needs more investment and to attract doctors and nurses to the country, for the “defence of health and the right to health” of the Portuguese.

"This central issue, of having more health professionals, and the fulfilment and respect for their careers, I believe would go halfway there to solve the many problems that currently exist in the SNS", concluded the PCP leader