The newspaper claims that the government “guarantees it is making every effort to make the construction of the new Central Hospital of the Algarve a reality” but has not yet come forward with a deadline for the completion of the work.

For now, CM claims, “it promises to invest in the requalification of the region’s existing hospital network”.

“The decision-making and development of the necessary procedures for the construction of the new Algarve Central Hospital requires an update by the Regional Health Administration of the Algarve on the existing studies about the new hospital”, whose construction was put on hold in 2011 for financial reasons.

The Government recognises “the importance and urgency of this infrastructure for the National Health Service in the Algarve and the relevance of its impact at regional and national level”, the Health Ministry said, in a written response to questions posed by the Left Bloc, seen by CM.

The Ministry added that the classification of a central hospital “requires that all the specialties that define this category be assured, not only in outpatient and inpatient care, but also in the emergency department, and it is recognised that current facilities do not have physical space to house the new services and professionals necessary”.

However, the Ministry of Health stresses that it is moving ahead with rehabilitation work on the existing hospital facilities, highlighting the launch of a tender for work on the Cardiology Service at Faro Hospital; an investment of “around €345,000 plus VAT”.