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Portugal’s health minister resigns amid death of pregnant Indian woman

Portugal's health minister, Marta Temido, announced her resignation following an Indian woman's death while being shifted between hospitals in Lisbon.

By wasmulhaq 
Updated Date

Lisbon: Portugal’s health minister, Marta Temido, announced her resignation from her position following an Indian woman’s death while being shifted between hospitals in Lisbon. The 34-year-old pregnant Indian tourist passed away due to a heart attack while being shifted by ambulance from Santa Maria hospital, which had no beds in the neonatology service. The baby was delivered through an emergency caesarean. An investigation has been ordered to look into the entire matter of the woman’s death, as reported by news agency Reuters.

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Marta Temido, who got all the credits for managing the nation’s vaccination programme during the COVID-19 pandemic, came under fire for her decision to temporarily shut down emergency obstetric services because of a shortage of doctors.

Antonio Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal, accepted her resignation and praised Temido for her creditable work. The PM added that the government is adamant about improving the health infrastructure in the country.

The prime minister claimed that the woman’s passing was the “last straw” that caused Temido to step down, as per Portugal’s Lusa news agency. Similar occurrences were reported across Portugal in recent months, in which two died after their mothers switched hospitals and encountered lengthy delays.

The health minister faced the backlash of opposition parties due to the closing of natal units and the resulting overflow of maternity units. A woman had to wait for long periods of time to get proper medical treatment.

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Marta Temido, who took charge as the health minister in 2018, was credited for her service during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, her ratings suffered badly due to a shortage of health staff, especially those specialising in gynaecology and obstetrics, and other problems at public hospitals.

 

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