The new law stipulates that junior doctors may work up to 12 additional hours per week in emergency or intensive care units, but only if it is “indispensable to ensure the normal operation” of health services and facilities.
In January of this year, the Deputy State Secretary of Health told Lusa News Agency that the Government was finalising the medical internship bill, which limits the work of junior doctors in emergency and intensive care to a maximum of 12 hours per week, with the possibility of doing an extra 12-hour shift.
According to State Secretary Fernando Araújo, doctors in speciality training had no time limits on working hours in A&E, and the new measure will “prevent excessive use of junior doctors during emergency times.”
This change puts junior doctors and specialists on an equal footing, as specialists already have a limit on the number of hours they can work in A&E.
Junior doctors are subject to a normal working period of 40 hours per week.