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Portugal’s health chief resigns amid hospital staff shortage

Lisbon Portugal — Portuguese Health Minister Marta Temido resigned on Tuesday, saying she felt “no longer able to stay in office” after widespread criticism of her handling of recent staffing problems at public hospitals.

Temido, a 48-year-old hospital administration expert and Portugal’s health minister since 2018, was one of the most popular members of the center-left socialist government during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But she has been under heavy pressure for several months, including from within her Socialist Party, due to the temporary closure of public hospital emergency services, including in maternity departments, due to lack of staff.

Critics blamed the problems on the Health Ministry’s lack of planning, especially during the summer vacation period, in what became an embarrassment for the government.

Groups representing Portuguese doctors and nurses have also criticized Temido’s policies.

The office of the President of the Government, Antonio Costa, announced Feared’s resignation in a brief statement at 01:30 am.

He said the government would push through reforms to strengthen the national health service, but gave no indication of Temido’s replacement.


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