Users in the municipality have been protesting, as happened in Alhandra last week, but solutions are slow to appear
Mayor of Vila Franca de Xira asked for an urgent meeting with the Minister of Health and will meet with the user committees. Resource ideas on the table include increasing teleconsultations at SNS 24 branches or implementing the Bata Branca project in the municipality.
The lack of doctors in the municipality of Vila Franca de Xira became more acute at the beginning of the year and after the health centers of Alhandra and Forte da Casa ran out of doctors, it is the turn of the Health Center of Castanheira do Ribatejo to prepare itself to stay too without the doctor who is on duty due to retirement. If this scenario materializes, six thousand people will have no access to a family doctor in that union of parishes.
The situation is dramatic and the mayor of the municipality, Fernando Paulo Ferreira, has already announced that he has submitted an urgent request for a meeting with the Minister of Health and the management of the National Health Service (SNS) to discuss what he says is the shortage of doctors in the country. their territory and the urgent need for something to be done. The mayor will also request a meeting with user commissions in the region to strengthen claims.
Despite not being a municipal competence Fernando Paulo Ferreira says that municipal services are trying to help by serving users in need at the SNS 24 counters, which even so has not been enough. The idea is to reinforce service with a battery of teleconsultations at these branches and try to implement the Bata Branca project, which in other municipalities in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon has had good results in helping those who do not have a family doctor, allowing assistance in Private Solidarity Institutions Social that have doctors at their service like the mercies.
“We are working in this direction but it is not easy to find professionals available to provide this assistance to the SNS. Both I and each of the board presidents are on the side of the people and we will do everything to improve the conditions of care. It will always be a transitional support because we cannot support the services that are provided by the Ministry of Health. But let’s see where we get to”, promised Fernando Paulo Ferreira.
The mayor defends the opening of a complementary service in the north of the municipality to alleviate the pressure on what exists in Póvoa de Santa Iria. The opposition also expressed, in a chamber meeting, concerns about the matter. Councilor Nuno Libório, from the CDU, warns that the end of a doctor in Castanheira do Ribatejo will further aggravate the problem and reminds the almost two thousand users of the Bom Sucesso Health Center that this month they were also left without a doctor. “The situation has worsened and we have more than 70,000 people without a doctor at the moment in the municipality”, he warns. Vítor Silva, from the New Generation Coalition (PSD/PPM/MPT), also regrets the mismanagement of the situation and the frightening numbers of people with no clinical response.