Portugal health minister resigns following the birth of a pregnant Indian woman is killed; probe is ordered

(PTI) The tragic death of a pregnant Indian woman in Portugal as she was transferred between two hospitals that are in crisis caused the resignation of Portugal’s Health minister Marta Temido while authorities have started investigations into this incident.


This 34 year old Indian woman was reported to have suffered cardiac arrest in an ambulance ride from Santa Maria hospital, which did not have any vacancies in the neonatology unit, to another institution in capital.

This follows a series of incidents in the summer that experts blame on a staff shortage throughout Portuguese native units according to the BBC announced on Wednesday.

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Temido was the health minister from 2018 and was credited with leading Portugal to the end of the pandemic Covid-19.

However, on Tuesday the government announced in a statement Temido was “realised that she no longer had the conditions to remain in office”.

Portugal’s Premier Minister Antonio Costa said the woman’s death was “the last straw” that caused Temido’s resignation the report said. Portugal’s Lusa news agency as saying.

I am thankful for all the work done by Dr. Marta Temido, especially in the current period in the fight against COVID19. COVID19 pandemic. The @govpt will continue to implement the reforms that are ongoing in the hope of improving the SNS and improving the healthcare available for those who are Portuguese, Costa, an Indian-born leader, wrote in an email.

His comments came in the wake of an outpour of criticism about the Portuguese government’s management of staff shortages at maternity hospitals, including closing certain units temporarily and forcing pregnant women to endure dangerous transfer procedures between hospitals.

The local media said that a pregnant tourist passed away while being removed to Lisbon’s Santa Maria Hospital – the largest hospital in Portugal due to the fact that the neonatology department was overcrowded.

The baby was born in good health after an emergency caesarean Authorities said. The investigation in the case of her untimely death is underway according to the report.

Similar incidents have occurred throughout Portugal in recent months , including the deaths of two babies with mothers who were transferred between hospitals and suffered lengthy delays, according to the report.

Portugal’s health staff shortage and specialists, particularly in obstetrics and gynaecology have led the Portuguese government looking into hiring foreigners.

The demise of a number of birth units has resulted in the overflowing of maternity wards and lengthy wait times. Opposition parties, nurses and doctors saying the blame lies with Health Minister X, who was a former minister.

In an interview with local news outlet RTP The chair of the Portuguese doctors’ association Miguel Guimaraes told RTP that Temido quit her post because she didn’t have any solution to the current crisis . She then concluding by praising her performance during her time in office.

But Gustavo Tato Borges, the head of Portugal’s public health organization said to RTP that he didn’t anticipate her departure, as he said he was “surprised” that she had been forced to step down amid “acute problems” in the health sector.

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