'Perfect storm' being created in obstetrics

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 11-08-2019 20:00:00 · 0 Comments
'Perfect storm' being created in obstetrics

Portugal's Independent Union of Doctors (SIM) has warned that almost all maternity hospitals in the Lisbon region are operating with staffing levels "below the minimum admissible" and that the "perfect storm" is being created.

"No maternity hospital currently has the minimum admissible staffing levels in obstetrics," said the general secretary of SIM, Roque da Cunha, in a review of the situation in maternity hospitals in the Lisbon region in July and the first week of August.

"The perfect storm is being created, with more and more work, fewer and fewer doctors and more and more doctors leaving" the National Health Service.

One of the main issues, according to Roque da Cunha, is that "the ministry of health, supported by hospital directors, persists in denying the problem."

Cunha also said that at the beginning of next week he will ask the head of the Portuguese Medical Association to question hospitals on contingency plans in obstetrics emergency services.

In addition to illegal staffing levels in some hospitals, which the union has already denounced this week, Roque da Cunha said that the São Francisco Xavier hospital does not even have a contingency plan.

On Friday the Portuguese Medical Association told Lusa that the Amadora-Sintra hospital has emergency obstetrics shifts that are "totally illegal", with doctors doing seven 24-hour shifts in five weeks.

“Maternity hospitals in the country should have eight teams with five members to cover the whole month. Some hospitals have only seven teams. The Fernando Fonseca hospital (Amadora-Sintra) has six teams with four members who have to do seven 24-hour shifts in five weeks."

The Portuguese Medical Association warns that Portuguese maternity hospitals are already exceeding the limit, with staff making a "superhuman effort" and doing more than a hundred hours of emergency service in a month as well as their usual shifts.


Be the first to comment on this article
Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.

Please note that The Portugal News may use selected comments in the printed edition of the newspaper.