The National Federation of Doctors (Fnam) has warned that “dramatic episodes are accumulating, with more than two dozen hospitals at risk of being left without emergency services”, with more than 1,500 doctors having already delivered declarations across the country expressing unavailability to work more than the legal limit of 150 additional hours per year.

“The SNS (DGS) cannot be dependent on the eight million overtime hours that doctors work per year”, highlighting that “the situation is more desperate” in Viana do Castelo, Vila Real, Penafiel, Bragança, Guarda, Viseu, Aveiro, Leiria, Santarém, Lisbon and Almada, says Fnam in a statement.

The Minister of Health, Manuel Pizarro, stated that he cannot say that “this risk does not exist”, but they are “working in each of these locations in dialogue with professionals, trying to ensure that the teams continue to function, without ignoring the difficulties”.

“The functioning of services has been dependent, as it is today, on the availability of doctors to carry out overtime work, obviously I cannot say that this risk does not exist”, said Manuel Pizarro.

However, he reaffirmed: “We are working to ensure that the services function as possible, in each location, with the adaptations and contingencies that may be necessary depending on what happened”.