The Lisbon district of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) asks the Government to clarify whether the National Health Service (SNS) is (or not) properly prepared to respond to a possible second wave of Covid-19. At stake is, according to the PSD, the “inability to respond” of the emergency services of Hospital São Francisco Xavier, in Lisbon, to the registered affluence and which may increase with the peak of the flu.
The president of the Lisbon district of PSD, Ângelo Pereira, considers, in a statement sent to the newsrooms, that the Secretary of State for Health, António Lacerda Sales, has said that the country is prepared for a second wave of Covid-19 “without content real". This is because, according to the PSD, Hospital São Francisco Xavier has shown several “constraints” in dealing with the increased demand for hospital services due to the pandemic.
“About three weeks ago, we heard, on the part of the Secretary of State for Health, that Portugal would be prepared for a second wave, but the truth on the ground is that the health units have not been adequately reinforced to respond to the challenges we face by front. Either one: either the Secretary of State for Health made this declaration of intent with no real content, or this process is evidently failing, ”says Ângelo Pereira.
The PSD's criticism comes after, last week, the Regional Directorate of the Southern INEM Delegation denounced that the São Francisco Xavier Hospital has been refusing patients transported by ambulance until 00:00 on Friday due to “constraints in the service ”Motivated by an“ abnormal turnout to the emergency department ”. Patients are thus moved to hospitals far from their area of residence.
Also in June, Amadora-Sintra Hospital sent at least four people infected with Covid-19 to Hospital de Santarém, due to the “lack of capacity” to admit new patients.
The Lisbon district of PSD questions "how is it possible that, given the situation that the country is going through, the Government does not ensure the necessary conditions so that hospitals and health units have the capacity to respond to the challenges that lie ahead" and argues that it is necessary to “act proactively” to guarantee a timely response in case of “overlapping the peak of flu with the second wave of Covid-19”.
“The question that arises is if we are currently experiencing such constraints, how can we expect a dignified and efficient response in winter, during the peak of seasonal flu? Although a second wave of Covid-19 is not certain, experts point to its high probability. It is urgent to ensure the proper functioning of the SNS with the strengthening of the teams ”, defends Ângelo Pereira.
And he adds: “The preparation has to start now, with more than just intentions, but with evidence and action on the ground”.