On Saturday (today), 234 health centres will be open, on Sunday 191 and on Christmas Day 187 will be operational, the Ministry of Health said in a statement, explaining that the measure is part of the Strategic Plan for the Seasonal Health Response – Winter 2023-2024.

The plan is implemented by the Groups of Health Centers and Regional Health Administrations, in conjunction with the Executive Directorate of the SNS.

“This communication aims to contribute to informing the population about alternatives to emergency services in the event of a non-emergent acute illness, with the aim of reducing pressure on these services with care that can be provided elsewhere in the NHS”, highlights the Ministry of Health.

People are advised to contact the SNS 24 Line (808 24 24 24) in non-emergency situations, such as mild to moderate respiratory symptoms, for advice and possible referral to the nearest health unit, and in emergency situations to contact 112.

The Ministry of Health recalls that “the appropriate use of health services allows a more timely response to patients, being decisive for the better functioning of the network of units of the National Health Service”.

It also recognises “the commitment of health professionals, especially during this season, and wishes safe and healthy celebrations for the entire population”.