Health service delivers more babies despite maternity ward closures

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In the first half of the year, 4.5% more babies were born in the health service (SNS) than in the same period of 2022, the minister of health said on Thursday, recalling that this year there were only previously scheduled maternity closures.

According to the minister, seven more babies were born a day in the SNS, “which proves that the system is working, with quality, safety and predictability”.

The minister was speaking to journalists after a visit to the S. José hospital in Lisbon as part of a World Youth Day (WYD) initiative.

Hospital de São José
Hospital de São José

Asked by journalists about the closure of the delivery block at Braga Hospital on weekends in August, the minister said that there are other maternity hospitals in the Braga region and stressed that “networking” guarantees “quality, safety and predictability”. This announcement, he said, is precisely the demonstration of the network operation of the SNS.

“We have the data for the first half of this year. There were no closures that had not been previously programmed in this rotation scheme. And, on the contrary, 4.5% more babies were born in the SNS than were born in the first half of 2022.”

Regarding the salary negotiations with the doctors’ unions, also questioned by journalists, the minister said he was very committed to a constructive dialogue with all health professionals and stressed several times that this dialogue should be done at the negotiating table and not in the media.

As part of the negotiations on the valorisation of the career that have been ongoing since 2022, the ministry of health sent its proposal to the Independent Union of Doctors (SIM) and the National Federation of Doctors (FNAM) at dawn today, one day before the next round of negotiations.

Last week, the two unions had guaranteed that they would only attend the meeting scheduled for Friday if they received the ministry’s proposal in advance, confirming today that they will attend this negotiation round.

Doctors are today on the third and final day of a strike called by SIM.

SNS with 4.5% more births in the first half of the year

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