The mayor of Viana do Castelo today expressed his “concern” about possible restrictions in the local hospital’s emergency department due to doctors’ excuses for working overtime, hoping that there will be “minimum services” to ensure the safety of residents.
“I look at the situation with concern. It is a national problem, but it also affects Alto Minho. I believe in dialogue. The challenge I leave behind is understanding for the benefit of the National Health Service.” [SNS]so that the SNS can be quickly restored and stabilized,” Luis Nobre told Lusa.
The mayor also said he believes health professionals will “guarantee minimum services” while the dialogue between the ministry and the unions continues.
He said: “A safe environment for citizens is essential, and I am convinced that all health workers will ensure it.”
According to data from the organization “Médicos em Luta” released on Wednesday, in the General Surgery Service of the Viana do Castelo Hospital, 100% of doctors requested to be exempted from working additional hours beyond the legally required 150 hours.
In October, the medical-surgical emergency department of the Local Health Unit of Alto Minho (ULSAM), which includes Viana do Castelo and Ponte de Lima hospitals, was closed between Friday and Sunday because doctors refused to do more than the 150 overtime hours required by law.
Negotiations between the Ministry of Health and medical unions began in 2022, but the lack of agreement led to the intensification of the struggle of professionals, with strikes and announcements of excuse for overtime work exceeding the mandatory 150 hours annually, which caused embarrassment and emergency closure of services in hospitals across the country.
This situation prompted SNS Executive Director Fernando Araujo to warn that if doctors do not reach an agreement with the government, November could be the worst month in the SNS’s 44 years.
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