Marta Temido, the Health Minister of Portugal, resigned on Tuesday after she was criticised for her handling of the situation involving the death of a pregnant Indian tourist and the overall healthcare services in the country. Her resignation comes five hours after the death of a pregnant woman in Lisbon.
There has been a shortage of health staff in Portugal for some time now, especially in the gynecology and obstetrics departments and Temido has been facing public and opposition outrage over the same. The incident of the death of the Indian woman acted as the last stray to the protests leading to her step down.
Temido in a sentence said that she “no longer has the conditions” to exercise the position, which the prime minister accepted, Portugal’s National Public broadcaster, RTP News reported. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the current president of Portugal, stated that he was waiting for Health Minister Marta Temido’s resignation. He also noted that he was considering the proposal to replace him.
A statement released by the Presidency of Portugal said that the President has informed the Prime Minister about the intention of the Health Minister to step down. The statement also stated that the minister has also accepted the decision of no longer being involved in the health sector.
What had happened to the pregnant Indian tourist
According to reports by the local media, the Indian woman was 31 weeks pregnant. She was taken to Lisbon’s Santa Maria Hospital, the largest in Portugal after she complained of shortness of breath. The hospital, however, transferred her to the Sao Francisco Xavier hospital as its neonatal department had no vacancy for new patients. However, she went into cardiac arrest on the way. CPR was carried out on the way to the hospital, reported RTP News.
The woman’s baby was delivered following an emergency Cesarean section at the second hospital, according to authorities. The baby, who weighed over 700 grams, was then placed in a neonatal intensive care unit for prematurity. A probe has been launched into her death.
The statement by Hospital de Santa Maria said that the mother died while she was in the hospital. The hospital sent its deepest condolences to the family.
Portugal has been facing similar incidents in recent months. Two infants have died in separate incidents after their mothers were transferred between hospitals, a BBC report said.
Meanwhile, Temido will continue to serve as the country’s health minister until her replacement is chosen. The Council of Ministers will then have to approve the new minister on September 15. But the presentation can be anticipated. Secretaries of State Maria de Fatima Fonseca and Antonio Lacerda Sales will also leave the Ministry of Health.