Portugal Health Minister Quits After Pregnant Indian Tourist Dies

After a pregnant Indian tourist died, Portugal's health minister Marta Temido announced her resignation. Was this resignation beyond cognizance or the last straw?
After a pregnant Indian tourist died, Portugal's health minister Marta Temido announced her resignation (Representational Image- Unsplash)
After a pregnant Indian tourist died, Portugal's health minister Marta Temido announced her resignation (Representational Image- Unsplash)

After pregnant Indian tourist died in Lisbon, Portugal's health minister Marta Temido resigned from her position. Marta Temido became the health minister of Portugal in 2018. She was also credited with successfully handling the country's vaccine rollout during COVID-19 pandemc. Portugal's minister decided to step down hours after an Indian pregnant woman died while being shifted to another hospital.

The pregnant woman was made to switch hospitals due to shutting down of neonatal units while the maternity units were full. The baby was delivered after carrying out an emergency C-section surgery. While the woman was made to do ambulatory shifts she suffered cardiac arrest and resuscitation was carried out.

"No longer has the conditions" to remain in the position
Ms Temido

Along with laws, and speeches ministers now have to resign to serve the community. Was this resignation beyond cognizance or the last staw? Ms Temido in a sentence said that she "no longer has the conditions" to remain in the position, which the prime minister accepted. Similar incidents were reported across Portugal, in which two infants died whose mothers were shifted between hospitals and suffered delays. There is also dearth of health staff, especially those specialising in gynaecology and obstetrics and other public health issues that are left unaddressed.

Similar incidents were reported across Portugal, in which two infants died whose mothers were shifted between hospitals and suffered delays (Representation Image- Unsplash)
Similar incidents were reported across Portugal, in which two infants died whose mothers were shifted between hospitals and suffered delays (Representation Image- Unsplash)

The health minister was one of the most popular centre-left Socialist government during pandemic. She faced backlash for her decision to close emergency obstetric services at hospitals in the country. The decision to keep obstetric services closed especially during weekends with shortage of doctors led to pregnant women to travel to hospitals located far away.

Marta Temido will remain in office until successor is chosen. Many a times ministers resign after not being able to conduct ministerial jobs however instead of resigning, the ministers should try to the change situation under their leadership. Resignation letter at the time of acute crisis in health care sector, was this Marta Temido's right decision, as a health minister?

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