About five thousand users do not have a family doctor in Benfica, in the municipality of Lisbon, revealed this Wednesday the president of the parish council, during the inauguration of a local health unit.
With the capacity to serve around 30,000 users, the Fonte Nova health unit has been operating since January and includes the Rodrigues Miguéis family health unit (USF) and a hub from the USF Monsanto.
USF Rodrigues Miguéis replaces prefabricated container installations that existed next to the current health center and are being dismantled.
“We have had a health center since 2013 in the Boavista neighbourhood, where we have not been able to attract doctors and put it up and running”, explained to journalists the president of the Parish Council of Benfica, Ricardo Marques (PS), saying that this unit was an investment of one million euros.
For this reason, he added, Boavista users turn to USF Monsanto, which now has two poles: the one sharing the building with USF Rodrigues Miguéis and the facilities in Boavista.
“There is still a small fringe of approximately five thousand users who are left without a family doctor, but if we manage to make Boavista fully operational, we already have full coverage of family doctors in the parish of Benfica”, predicted the mayor.
The work on the Fonte Nova health unit was launched in 2020 and represented an investment of around three million euros.
The new building includes a complementary care unit between the two USF and reinforced the physiotherapy specialties, with two more professionals, and nutrition.
After being in “miserable” facilities, next to the José Gomes Ferreira Secondary School, the USF Rodrigues Migueis was operating in containers for about 12 years, as described by the former coordinator of the unit after the inauguration.
“The facilities were temporary”, António Alvim told journalists, stressing that “it was all right”, but that there is a “substantial improvement” with the new centre.
Present at the official opening were the Chairman of the Order of Doctors, Miguel Guimarães, the Mayor of Lisbon, Carlos Moedas (PSD), and the Minister of Health, Manuel Pizarro.
In an intervention at the inauguration of the new unit, Carlos Moedas asked Manuel Pizarro for “a little push” in order to speed up the opening of two other centers in Lisbon, one in Beato and the other in Ajuda.
In response, the minister assured that they are “practically completed”.
The mayor also said that more than 10,000 elderly people have joined the Lisbon Health Plan 65+.