By Laura Kemp • 05 October 2021 • 13:47
Hospitals in the Algarve are desperately trying to hire Spanish nurses as exhausted A&E staff in hospitals have signed a letter asking to be “excused from responsibility for what might happen to patients.”
The letter is addressed to the superiors at Faro Hospital, where 65 out of the 72 nurses claim there aren’t adequate “conditions” to provide safe nursing care.
The exhaustion is not just because of the high season, where admissions in Faro increase to around 300 casualties per day (on top of the rise because of the health crises), but also because of “deficits in nurse/patient and nurse/doctor ratios.”
The letter states that nurses will end up making mistakes and that “waiting times” will be longer.
The official consensus is that there simply aren’t enough nurses and that Portugal has reached a situation where it is running on empty.
Mariana Santos, the head of nursing at CHUA (the university hospital centre of the Algarve), said that while this is “frightening”, “obviously all patients will receive attention according to their needs”.
However, Ana Rita Cavaco, president of the Order of Nurses, insists that the service “does not have enough colleagues to care for the lives of everyone who comes looking for healthcare.”
A report by RTP news describes how some patients’ lives hang in the balance for “days and days”, while others are left on stretchers in corridors for too long. The process of releasing patients from the hospital is also hindered.
TSF radio says “the situation” has worried those in charge at Faro Hospital so much that they have sent emails to nearly every graduate nurse in the country, asking them to come and work in the Algarve.
The news channel says that “the hiring effort has even crossed the border.”
“The hospital administration says it has sent a request for help to the Spanish consul and the Spanish Order of Nurses, to try and find professionals who would like to work in the Algarve…”
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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