During the presentation of the health literacy campaign "Urgências Só Urgentes" (Urgent Care Only), in the Municipality of Leiria, Licínio de Carvalho, chairman of the board of Centro Hospitalar de Leiria (CHL), revealed that 103 health professionals, "only staff and not counting service providers", were in isolation, of which 50 nurses and 20 specialist doctors.

He stressed the "overload" to which the professionals have been subjected and the "impact" that these absences have on the management of the six emergency services, open 24 hours, in the hospitals of Leiria, Pombal and Alcobaça, units that make up the CHL.

"Our professionals are people, besides being subject to a higher risk of infection, they are fathers and mothers and also have to be in isolation for having contact with relatives or colleagues", said Licínio de Carvalho.

For Carvalho, these absences combined with the lack of human resources and the "high" affluence of "false emergencies" have complicated the response to users who come, above all, to the emergency service of Santo André Hospital, in Leiria.

"Yesterday was one of the worst days of the year. We received 367 patients in the Emergency Room", he revealed. Of these, 50 percent in the respiratory emergency service of cases that were not urgent, and 35 percent of non-urgent cases in the general service.