BE and Minister of Health hold close debate on investment in the NHS

After Marta Temido's speech on this second and last day of debate on the generality of the 2021 State Budget proposal, Moisés Ferreira defended that next year will be the most challenging for the NHS.

Tiago Petinga / Lusa

Left Bloc deputy Moisés Ferreira and Health Minister Marta Temido today had a close debate about the real levels of investment in the National Health Service (SNS) in the face of the covid-19 pandemic.

After Marta Temido's speech on this second and last day of debate on the generality of the 2021 State Budget proposal, Moisés Ferreira defended that next year will be the most challenging for the NHS.

“But, unfortunately, the Government's Budget proposal does not respond to needs. The NHS has to respond to millions of surgeries, exams and overdue consultations and the Government does not provide these resources. The increase in transfers will be 0,03% ”next year, estimated the deputy of the Left Bloc.

As PCP deputy Paula Santos had done before, Moisés Ferreira also criticized the Government for announcing the hiring of “professionals who are already working in the NHS”, arguing that the public health system “urgently needs more and new professionals” .

The leader of the Left Bloc then left a warning to the Minister of Health: "Not transferring more resources to the NHS is to end up draining our resources into the private sector".

“This is giving up on the NHS. If the Government is still available for alternatives, the Left Block has this alternative ”, he maintained.

In response, Marta Temido promised on the part of the executive “full dedication, the same that existed when the Council of Ministers authorized a regime of exceptional hiring of health professionals, allowing each institution to hire them directly while the covid-19 pandemic lasts” .

“Full dedication also when I brought to the Council of Ministers the need to purchase the medicine Remdesivir [for treatment of covid-19] in the amount of 35 million euros, or when the Government made an investment of 130 million euros in the vaccine, or , yet, when he assumed to pay 60 million euros for ventilation equipment ”, he reacted.

The Minister of Health pointed out afterwards that the country is in a phase of "enormous difficulty" and acknowledged that "there are aspects to be executed" in the Budget.

“But we are acting quickly and, for that, it is essential to know the truth. And the truth is that this Budget presents an increase in investment in public services ”, defended Marta Temido.

Previously, PCP deputy Paula Santos had spoken of the existence of “a gigantic campaign to push healthcare to private groups and considered the Government's promise to hire 4200 more professionals for the NHS insufficient.

Paula Santos accused the socialist executive of “juggling numbers”, demanded an immediate improvement in careers and warned that the public structure “urgently needs to be reinforced”.

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