In a statement, the administration also said that next Friday, 1 November, the Paediatric Emergency Service will close earlier, at 9:00, and reopen at 8:30 Monday, 4 November.

The administration had announced a press conference for this afternoon to talk about the situation in the paediatric emergency of that hospital, which has been closing on weekends due to the lack of paediatricians.

However, the press conference was cancelled because "new possibilities of articulation and reorganisation of the service, including the appointment of a new coordinator" of Paediatrics, allowing the eventual resolution of the problem by November 18.

Despite the vacancies allocated by the ministry of health, which approved the direct hiring of three professionals in view of the problems of recent months in the paediatric emergency ward, the president of the hospital, Luís Amaro, acknowledged, last Saturday, the possibility that the paediatric emergency would only return to normal operation on weekends "in six months", after the tenders for admission of new paediatricians.

Speaking to Lusa, Amaro also revealed that the protocol that had been set up with the Union of Portuguese Charities to solve the shortage of paediatricians in the short term, which consisted of bringing paediatricians from the north of the country, should no longer be implemented.

In the statement released today, the Garcia de Orta Hospital said that, during the closure of the paediatric emergency ward at that hospital, patients can resort to Rainha D. Leonor (Almada) and Amora (Seixal) Health Centres, which are open from 10:00 to 17:00, from Saturday and Sunday.

For more serious situations, patients should go to the paediatric emergency rooms of Santa Maria or D. Estefânia hospitals in Lisbon.