"We have to give people working conditions. You cannot look at intern doctors as if they are slaves of the system. This is neither possible nor acceptable in a democratic country and there must be solutions", said Miguel Guimarães.

The chairman of the OM questioned the Minister of Health and demanded concrete measures to fix problems facing doctors in the SNS, admitting that, without solutions, "there is a risk of having emergency rooms without doctors available to work".

"It is necessary to act and make the necessary reforms so that these young interns are the specialists of tomorrow and choose to stay in the SNS. In Portugal we have enough doctors to respond to the needs of the SNS. We wouldn't even need them all. But the truth is that at the moment more than 50% of the doctors we train then leave,” said Miguel Guimarães.

On August 19, a letter was delivered to the Ministry of Health, signed by 416 of the 1,061 interns in the Internal Medicine specialty across the country, demanding better working and training conditions and refusing to work more than 150 overtime hours a year.