Lack of doctors causes 14 hour waits in A&E departments over the long weekend

LACK OF DOCTORS CAUSES 14 HOUR WAITS IN A&E DEPARTMENTS OVER THE LONG WEEKENDThis bank holiday weekend, combined with the lack of doctors, but A&E departments under severe pressure yesterday morning, across Portugal.

At Fernando Fonseca Hospital  in Amadora, Sintra the average waiting time to be treated for patients with a yellow bracelet (recommended time 1 hr), reached a whopping 13 hours and 17 minutes, with 43 patients waiting. 

The situation was similar for those with yellow bracelets at the Hospital in Portimão, where waiting time reached 6 hours 41 minutes. Patients at Beatriz Ângelo Hospital in Loures suffered waits of 4 hours 30 minutes, and at the Santa Maria, in Lisbon it was 3 hours 38 minutes.

This dire situation has led the Portuguese Society of Internal Medicine to point out “mistakes and errors in the proposals on Urgency in the Health Emergency Plan”. They state that around 2164 beds are unduly occupied by patients who should recover at home, limiting the functioning of hospital services.

The lack of Internal Medicine specialists and the low attractiveness for new doctors to choose this specialty were also highlighted in the presentation to the Ministry of Health, with 250 vacancies not filled in the last two years.

The Central Administration of the Health System say that, up until April this year, 8895 doctors are working in emergencies, of which 3232 are internal doctors. That is just 36% of the total needed.


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