“We are going to set up, in the very short term – on a scale of weeks, not months –, two teams. A technical team, which results from the law and will lead the process of implementing the tender, but we are going to set up, at the same time – and this is indeed a political option –, a monitoring commission”, said Manuel Pizarro.

The minister was speaking at Hospital de Faro, during the presentation of the conclusions of the “Saúde Aberta” initiative, which took the minister and his two secretaries of state to the 16 municipalities of the Algarve.

The Council of Ministers decided to resume, at the end of September, the public-private partnership process for the construction and maintenance of the future Hospital Central do Algarve (HCA), whose clinical management will continue to be in the public domain.

In addition to the technical team, which will be “professional” to “ensure that it is not due to lack of response from the [central] administration that the tender gets stuck”, the Intermunicipal Community of the Algarve (AMAL) and other institutions will be invited to the monitoring committee.

“We believe it is very important that Algarve society, the Algarve community, local authorities and other institutions closely monitor the process of the new HCA, so that the result of the decision is that we come to take exactly a model of hospital that will serve the Algarve not only in the coming years, but in the coming decades”, stressed Manuel Pizarro.

The Minister of Health assured that “it is not worth questioning” the location of the infrastructure, in Parque das Cidades, between the municipalities of Faro and Loulé, which had already been taken over two decades ago by the then PSD/CDS-PP government.

“It has, among other additional advantages, the advantage that the land ownership and access problems are solved”, he observed.

No date

Questioned by journalists, Manuel Pizarro refused to commit to a specific date for completion of the work.

“It's fairer for people if we commit to what's within our immediate reach. The immediate scope is that in 2023 the tender process will be launched”, he assumed, considering “expected” that “there will be a decision in 2024”, but that this matter “transcends” because it will be a jury to make the technical decision.

As for the monitoring committee to be set up, Manuel Pizarro maintained that “it makes a lot of sense to discuss what will be done” for the facilities currently occupied by Hospital de Faro, in the center of the Algarve city.