Portuguese Medical Association considers it unacceptable that Viseu has no pediatric emergency room


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The President of the Portuguese Medical Association (Ordem dos Médicos) today considered it unacceptable that the Viseu Dão-Lafões Local Health Unit (ULSVDL) is without a pediatric emergency at night and demanded priority in the solution, which involves hiring pediatricians.

“It is unacceptable that Viseu does not have a pediatric response as, unfortunately, it is not having and this situation deserves priority and specific attention from the Ministry of Health and the executive board” of the National Health Service (SNS), demanded Carlos Cortes.

The president was speaking to journalists at the end of the morning in Viseu, after meeting with the resigning board of directors and the directors of the ULSVDL services, as well as the coordinators of the primary health care units.

“Viseu is a central hospital, it’s a hospital that has practically all the specialties and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t have an adequate response in the area of pediatrics,” he said.

For Carlos Cortes, the “problem shouldn’t be shifted” to primary health care, “that would be a mistake”, the focus should be on “finding, trying by all means, to find solutions to have pediatricians in the hospital”.

An effort that must be made by the Ministry of Health, the executive director of the SNS and the board of directors of the ULSVDL, which has since resigned and, in this regard, Carlos Cortes said that he demanded a “quick solution” to end “this vacuum”.

The president demanded that a solution be found “quickly and urgently”, which in his opinion means hiring more pediatricians for the hospital.

The administration of the ULS Viseu Dão Lafões, which resigned on June 13, activated a contingency plan on March 1, due to a lack of doctors, which meant the external closure of the pediatric emergency rooms from Friday to Sunday at night.

However, the departure of two doctors and the arrival of the vacation period aggravated the situation, leading the administration to close the pediatric emergency room every night of the week since June 1, between 20:00 and 08:00.

On June 17, the “Lado a Lado na Pediatria” (Side by Side in Pediatrics) plan was activated, presented by the resigning administration to the Minister of Health, which reserves access to the pediatric emergency room at night to the triage of the 24 health line and family doctors.

The plan involves primary health care, since “from 8pm to 11pm and at weekends there will be a reinforcement of care at the Primary Health Care Children’s Complementary Care Consultation, at the Viseu 3 Health Center, in Jugueiros”.

“I’m not aware of the plan. I have to say that I was surprised when I spoke to the coordinators of the primary health care units that they themselves were unaware of the plan,” reacted Carlos Cortes when questioned today.

He defended the fact that “many of them are currently having a response and are being involved in the problem”, which, in his opinion, is “wrong, but they are being involved in this issue and are not aware” of the activated plan.

“I don’t think this is the right solution. The ULS Viseu Dão-Lafões needs pediatricians to provide an adequate response. At the moment, it doesn’t have a sufficient number of pediatricians to be able to provide this response. (…) What people need is a response in the area of pediatrics,” he stressed.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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