Faro’s maternity ward does not possess the ‘capacity to respond to premature [births], because it lacks professionals,” said João Dias, regional secretary of the Algarve’s Independent Union for Doctors (SIM).

According to Dias, ‘problems have been accumulating and there are no short-term prospective solutions, unless there is an intervention on behalf of the [Health] Ministry that will invert this situation’.

The regional secretary also highlighted that there are only six people under the age of fifty five in Faro’s regional Hospital, which clashes with the Portuguese Doctor’s Order guidelines which demand ‘four individuals per shift (night and day), totalling at eight people, but if there are only six under fifty five years old, you cannot even cover a full day’.