Recourse to private maternity hospitals allows “quality and safety”.


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The minister of Health, Manuel Pizarro, said today that the use of private maternity hospitals to care for low-risk pregnant women in Lisbon and Tagus Valley allows an assistance “with quality and safety”.

“As was proven only yesterday [Sunday], the measures taken by the executive board of the National Health Service (NHS), namely by resorting, in case of need, to the provision of services by private maternity hospitals, allow all people to be cared for with quality and safety,” he said.

Manuel Pizarro, who was speaking to journalists in Serpa, in the district of Beja, on the sidelines of the Open Health initiative, was referring to the case of a pregnant woman who was transferred on Sunday from Santa Maria Hospital to a private maternity hospital.

Admitting that “there is a situation of conflict that has aggravated the functioning of the service,” the holder of the Health portfolio said that the Government is working to “overcome this climate that is installed and come up with a more stable solution.

“In this case, a pregnant lady was just sent to a private hospital. Everything went very well. The system is organized and running smoothly,” he stressed.

The governor admitted that he is not satisfied, since he wanted “this conflict not to exist and that there is no need to resort to the service of a third party,” but asked the users to feel calm.

“Pregnant women who come to Santa Maria will be adequately treated in Santa Maria itself, if the clinical situation justifies it, or, in a private hospital, to where we will send people with all the follow-up, if appropriate,” he said.

When questioned about whether this system can be replicated to other parts of the country, the minister indicated that the government has only identified “this difficulty in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region” and that “the other maternity hospitals have functioned adequately.

About the new national strike called by the Independent Doctors Union (SIM) for the 25th, 26th, and 27th of this month, Manuel Pizarro stressed that his ministry is still in dialogue with the medical class.

“I am committed to dialogue, I recognize the right to strike in a context, but I think there is something strange when we are at the same time scheduling the strikes and the negotiation meetings,” he pointed out.

According to the governor, meetings with the two doctors’ unions are scheduled for this week.

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

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