"The increase in demand and transport provided by INEM from outside the CHULC’s area of influence is having an impact on the organisational capacity of all the hospital center’s services, which are highly differentiated and state-of-the-art", highlighted this hospital center in a statement.

The biggest issue in the emergencies is the impact on the scheduled capacity of inpatient beds and putting the units and professionals under pressure.

The CHULC pointed out, as an example, that "admissions of patients from outside the area of influence to the Multipurpose General Emergency Room (UGP, Hospital de São José) during the month of October already exceeded those seen in the previous year, reaching 61% on the 7th of October of the last year.

For the period between October 1st and November 1st of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022, there was an increase of 16% in patients treated at UGP coming from outside the area and transported by CODU (Centro de Orientação de Doentes Urgentes)", detailed the hospital center in the press release.

"With regard to the surgical area, it is noteworthy that 75% of all emergency surgeries carried out at the UGP, considering all specialties, were carried out on patients outside the CHULC’s area of influence. This demonstrates the seriousness of the situations received from other hospitals. Between 2022 and 2023, there was a 73% increase in October, going from 146 to 252 surgeries for patients from outside the area."

The CHULC stressed that despite the pressure on the three emergency services – at Hospital de D. São José, at the Maternity Hospital of D. Alfredo da Costa and at the Hospital de D. Estefânia – the "November shifts are generally assured".

"This is a clear sign of the spirit of the mission of CHULC professionals, based on successive and daily reorganizations and adaptations to be able to respond to an unpredictable number of patients and tending to the more serious situations", emphasised the hospital center.

The CHULC board of administrators considers that the response from the UGP and other emergency services "has been exemplary" and corresponds "to a strong commitment and dedication of all professionals", which can be read in the statement.

More than 30 hospitals from the north to the south of the country are facing constraints and temporary closures of services due to the difficulty of administrations in completing medical rosters.

At issue is the refusal of more than 2500 doctors to work more than the 150 annual overtime hours to which they are obliged.

This crisis has already led the executive director of the National Health Services (SNS), Fernando Araújo, to admit that November could be dramatic if the government and medical unions are unable to reach an understanding.

Negotiations between the unions and the government have been going on for 18 months and a new meeting has been scheduled for Saturday.