João Oliveira spoke to journalists after a visit to the various units of that hospital that is intersected by the IP2 route, whose traffic affects its normal functioning and the conditions of care of users.

“The visit to the Espírito Santo Hospital in Évora confirmed precisely what we have been striving for - the construction of a new central hospital serving the entire Alentejo. Not to replace the nearest hospitals - on the Alentejo coast in Beja, in Portalegre - but to complement the response that is given in the region to prevent the Alentejo from having to be pushed to Lisbon to have access to health care,” he said.

For the communist deputy the future hospital “is, in fact, an absolute necessity”.

“We will continue to work so that once the tendering process has been completed, the work will be awarded and the hospital will be able to start work by 2020, because this is truly the guarantee that the process becomes irreversible so that in 2023 we can have the new hospital,” he stressed.

The Espírito Santo Hospital had planned for 2018 16,450 surgeries and about 189,000 consultations. The three buildings that make up this Alentejo central hospital have a total of 314 beds and benefited from a total of €9.5 million worth of investment between 2016 and 2019.

João Oliveira also stressed the need to “find conditions to keep professionals in the Alentejo to provide health care to populations”, through “incentive measures, improvement of working conditions and to prevent the National Health Service from continuing to be bled from professionals for the disease business that is proliferating everywhere, especially in the interior regions.”

The parliamentary leader of the PCP referred to doctors, but also to nurses and senior technicians and diagnostics.