Portuguese health minister quits post hours after pregnant Indian tourist dies due to bed shortage
Critics have blamed the problems on a lack of planning by the health ministry, especially during the summer vacation period
Portuguese Health Minister Marta Temido quit on Tuesday hours after a 34-year-old pregnant Indian tourist died while being shifted from one hospital to another due to unavailability of beds, according to local media reports.
Marta Temido said she was "no longer able to remain in office" after broad criticism that was piling up against her over her handling of recent staffing problems at public hospitals, reports Associated Press.
According to several reports, the 34-year-old Indian tourist suffered a cardiac arrest in the middle of an ambulance transfer from one of Lisbon's main hospitals - Santia Maria because the neonatology unit in the hospital was full.
The Indian woman's baby was however delivered following an emergency caesarean section.
Local media reports suggest that a full investigation has now been launched into the woman's death.
Temido, a 48-year-old expert in hospital administration has been the Portugal health minister since 2018.
She was one of the most popular members of the center-left Socialist government during the Covid-19 pandemic, but she has been facing public fury for several months, including from within her Socialist Party, due to temporary closures of public hospital emergency services, including in maternity departments, due to a lack of staff.
Critics have blamed the problems on a lack of planning by the health ministry, especially during the summer vacation period.
The issues faced by the ministry has proved to be a massive embarrassment for the government.