The president of the Association of Hospital Administrators, Xavier Barreto, relates this number to incentives for additional operations, and outside working hours, with a view to reducing waiting lists, however, these incentives end on June 30, according to a report by Diário de Notícias.

With the aim of cutting waiting lists for operations, which had been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government approved an ordinance to cover additional operations outside working hours. The regime — which was revised in January 2023 and will be maintained until June 30 — made it possible to reach, in 2020, “the highest ever number of interventions in the SNS”, that is, 758,000. It also made it possible for a record 246,541 operations to be reached in the first four months of 2023 when compared to the same period of the last four years.

This is "a historic number of patients who have been operated on, the highest ever when comparing the records of the same periods in previous years", says the Central Administration of the Health System (ACSS) which is unaware of the actual number of patients on the waiting list.

According to the president of the Portuguese Association of Hospital Administrators (APAH), the percentage of patients operated after the appropriate time (180 days) amounts to 30% and 20% for patients awaiting a first appointment. Diário de Notícias reports that 69.1% of the 218,000 patients registered for surgeries in 2022 were treated in a timely manner. Of the 241,000 enrolled in 2023, 72% were assisted in this time.