Pizarro says the Government has no “ideological obsession” over recourse to the private sector


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The minister of Health, Manuel Pizarro, said today in Beja that the government has no “ideological obsession” that prevents it from resorting to the private sector when it sees fit or to “diminish” the public sector.

The minister was confronted, at the end of a day in the district of Beja, in the scope of the Open Health initiative, with words from the leaders of the PSD and the Left Bloc about the case of a pregnant woman who was transferred, on Sunday, from Santa Maria Hospital to a private maternity hospital.

Luís Montenegro, from the PSD, accused the government of having a “statist and centralist vision” of how to manage the SNS, despite being “closer” to what his party advocates, while Mariana Mortágua urged the minister to “decide whether to side with Luís Montenegro” or “to side with the SNS”.

“We have no ideological obsession that prevents us from resorting to the private sector when it is appropriate, and we also have no ideological obsession to diminish or undermine the public sector, and we recognize the importance that the SNS has had over these decades,” Manuel Pizarro said at the Beja Hospital, where he summed up the day spent in the district as part of the Open Health initiative.

To put the statement into context, Pizarro stressed that he is “on the side of the people” and that he only wants to “ensure that Portugal continues to be an excellent country to get pregnant” and protect the health of future mothers, “as the SNS has guaranteed in these almost 50 years of democracy.

“To do that we have to strengthen the public services of the NHS. In fact, that is what we are doing in Santa Maria. Because what we are going to do is a deep remodeling of the delivery block that will transform it into the most modern and the largest delivery block in the country,” highlighted the ruler.

Questioned, also, about the intention announced by the Portuguese Medical Association to send a specialty college to see if safety conditions are guaranteed in the obstetrics service at Santa Maria Hospital, the minister assumed that “all contributions from different institutions are welcome”.

Finally, Manuel Pizarro was “confident” that this will be a quieter summer in the midwifery services than in 2022.

“You have two regions [Lisboa e Vale do Tejo and Algarve] operating with some rotation of some maternity hospitals, but the truth is that since this model was implemented, at the end of 2022, everything has been running smoothly,” he concluded.

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