The Minister of Health said this Tuesday that the hospitals in Lisbon and Vale do Tejo, the region with the greatest pressure due to the pandemic, have balanced the scheduled activity with the response to covid patients.
“So far, in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region, which is the one with the most pressure, we are managing to ensure some balance between normal care activity and the response to covid-19”, said Marta Temido, after a meeting at the Vila Franca de Xira hospital.
According to the official, the region of Lisbon and Vale do Tejo has about 700 patients hospitalized for covid-19, compared to almost 3,000 a year ago.
“These are two very different realities. Although there is pressure, it is a very different pressure”, stressed Marta Temido, adding that, of the 15,500 patients hospitalized in all hospitals in the country, 1,564 are for covid-19, of which 44 are under 18 years old, which represents 2.8%.
The minister also said that the Vila Franca de Xira Hospital is one of those that “has been most pressured across the country”.
“We know that some fragility of primary health care ends up leading many patients, who are concerned about their health status, to come to hospital services. This brings added pressure, we have to deal with it and prepare to face it in the coming days,” he said.
In the statements to journalists after the visit to the Hospital, the minister also admitted weaknesses in the Saúde 24 line, which at the current moment of the evolution of the pandemic is one of the most pressured services.
Since the beginning of the year, he said, the line has already reached close to 700 thousand calls, which shows that “it has been solving the health situation of many people”.
The line, he added, “is guaranteeing an answer, which is not perfect”, but which has been strengthened.
According to Marta Temido, the scheduled activities, due to the large increase in cases of covid-19, are not being postponed, which is positive, but less positive has been the inappropriate referral of patients to hospitals, something that is also being to be reviewed and which should be normalized this week or next.
In summary, regarding the fight against the pandemic, the minister said that the country is not in a negative scenario, noting that it is not yet known whether the “peak” of the pandemic will have passed or not.
Regarding the testing of students, since only teachers and staff were tested, the minister said that young people who need a test can use one of the four co-financed by the state and do it when they want.
Regarding the expansion of the hospital, he acknowledged that it is necessary and said that work is being done to study the best technical solution.
At the end of the visit, Marta Temido also heard the complaints of a popular man, whose elderly father was “abandoned in a cold room” at the hospital for 12 hours without any assistance.