Santa Maria’s low-risk pregnant women may be rerouted to private providers

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The Hospital of Santa Maria, in the next few days, will be able to send low-risk pregnant women to private hospitals due to “constraints in the clinical scale” of the delivery room, it was announced today.

In a statement, the Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Lisboa Norte (CHULN) explained that this decision comes in the wake of the “unavailability of overtime work above 150 hours per year assumed by doctors of the department and the [recent] resignation of team leaders of the Emergency Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

In this sense, “due to constraints in the clinical scale, the delivery room at Santa Maria Hospital will operate, over the next few days, with adjustments in the volume of pregnant women in labor referred from other institutions,” said the same information note.

According to the CHULN, the Santa Maria Hospital teams will continue to ensure high-risk births, but “for the sake of predictability for the families accompanied at the CHULN, the extraordinary mechanism of collaboration with private institutions was activated, foreseen in the summer seasonal plan ‘Birth safely in the NHS’.

The programmed and temporary referrals are only for low-risk pregnant women referred and transported by the CHULN and INEM, in a process coordinated with the NHS Executive Directorate (ED) and the Urgent Care Patient Orientation Center.

The maternal and child area of the CHULN will benefit from extensive renovation work starting this summer, in a total investment of more than six million euros, with a nine-month execution period.

The remodeling currently underway foresees the construction of 12 new delivery rooms, two operating rooms, and an observation room, for a total of about one thousand square meters of new area to be built.

It is also planned to remodel and expand the hospitalization of puerperal women (the period from birth until the mothers recover), remodel the facilities for obstetric ultrasound, and expand the Neonatology Service.

It is planned that while the delivery block at Santa Maria Hospital is closed for renovations – during the months of August and September – services will be concentrated at S. Francisco Xavier Hospital (West Lisbon Hospital Center), which as of August 1st will be working again uninterruptedly seven days a week.

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