Health service bracing for coronavirus

in News · 13-03-2020 01:00:00 · 4 Comments

Over a thousand doctors have responded to the call to reinforce the SNS to help in the response to the coronavirus in Portugal while the emergency health line has also been strengthened.

More than a thousand doctors responded positively to the appeal launched by the President of the Order of Doctors, Miguel Guimarães, to strengthen the response capacity of the National Health Service (SNS) to combat the Covid-19 outbreak.
In a statement, the Ordem dos Médicos highlights that in just 24 hours, more than a thousand doctors responded to the president’s appeal.
On Sunday, Miguel Guimarães called on all doctors to reinforce the response of public services to the new coronavirus, asking those outside the National Health Service to help, including retired professionals.
In a letter sent to all doctors, the president appealed to the sympathetic and humanistic spirit of the clinicians, especially those who have already left the National Health Service (SNS), recalling that the new coronavirus is already an added pressure on an SNS which has been the “target of great divestment over the last few years”.
“At this time when we are facing the outbreak of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), I write to you evoking our past and present, calling for your direct collaboration in this international public health challenge, considered by the World Health Organization to be an emergency”, said the president.
In the letter, Miguel Guimarães stressed that the appeal has “a special relevance for doctors who have already left the SNS, namely retired people, but also for doctors who are already working in the SNS but can make an additional contribution, should it be necessary”.
In the appeal, Miguel Guimarães also said that the Order is in contact and putting pressure on the Directorate-General for Health and the Ministry of Health to “ensure that health professionals have access to the appropriate equipment and, in particular, the protective equipment to protect themselves during contact with potential patients and infected patients ”.
The president reminded that each doctor will be able to contribute in his / her knowledge area, freeing other, more specialised doctors, so that they can make their specific contribution in the Covid-19 area.
As of 11 March, Portugal had registered 59 confirmed cases of infection, according to the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).
DGS also reported that in Portugal a total of 471 suspected cases have been reported since the beginning of the epidemic, 83 of which are still awaiting laboratory results.
According to DGS, there are still 3,066 contacts under surveillance by the health authorities.
Because of the situation, the Portuguese Government decided to suspend all flights to or from the most affected areas in Italy and has also recommended the suspension of events in open spaces with more than 5,000 people.
Meanwhile, the SNS 24 line which is to be used by those who suspect they may be infected is to be reinforced on 13 March with 81 nurses to respond to the increase in calls due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Minister of Health announced.
Asked by the deputies in the Health Commission about what is being done to reinforce the SNS 24 line (808 24 24 24), Marta Temido stated that “various types of measures” are being outlined.
Marta Temido said that the contract that the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health (SPMS) have with the operator Altice is currently “largely outdated”.
“The contract has a volume of calls that was part of the predictability of the response of a line of this type and what has been the demand associated with Covid-19 has in fact significantly increased the need for an answer,” she stressed.
Social Democratic deputy Ricardo Baptista Leite defended that “the response capacity be drastically increased” and “eventually that another one be created for generic information on this matter”.
The Government is also appealing to those who need information from the Health Line 24, for non-health information, to contact the authorities instead by email.
The director-general of Health admitted on 10 March in parliament that the Saúde24 line reached “never expected peaks” of demand, but added that the capacity to answer calls simultaneously has more than doubled in the last 24 hours.


I'm a healthcare nurse in Victoria BC ..can you please tell me why you folks are still allowing people to walk the st..and why the government there isnt doing much about the health and welfare of the people of Portugal many more need to die.

By Maria from Other on 31-03-2020 10:19

I am feeling a bit weak with some light fever .
On the other hand i have dry cough and some pinch ing pain in my thought!
Am i suffering from corona ?
Any my symptoms make me feel unwell more in night time !
Is it really corona or my mind getting disturb !
Need a serious suggestion!

By Sanjeev shah from Algarve on 28-03-2020 07:59

If there are no volunteer deliveries to vulnerable self-isolated elderly people living alone the Health Services will have 10 times as many serious cases to deal with. Im told Portugal has no volunteers whatever while the UK has 400,000 volunteers. I find that utterly astonishing! I will therefore have to shop for myself, putting myself at risk (obviously no one cares about that) but it also puts Portugal's Health Service at huge risk.. unless the plan is to more critical ill old people directly to the morgue, misding out the hospitals??

By Will O'Mahony from Lisbon on 27-03-2020 05:36

Thanks to all
Health care workers for stepping up!

By Liz from Algarve on 13-03-2020 10:32
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