Minister vows Algarve Oncology Centre still moving forward

Tender will be launched in 2024, according to the minister

Portugal’s Minister of Health has guaranteed that the tender for the construction of the Algarve Oncology Centre will be launched in 2024, downplaying warnings from opposition party PSD that the project might come to a halt.

“You need only read the State Budget report (for 2024) that was presented in Parliament. We assume that in 2024 the tender for the construction of the Oncology Centre and the new Central Algarve Hospital will be launched,” said Manuel Pizarro on the sidelines of a visit to the Lendas de Olhão Family Health Unit at the Olhão Health Centre.

The President of PSD Algarve, Cristóvão Norte, had stated on Monday that the construction of the oncology centre was at risk after two entities supervised by the Ministry of Health had issued unfavourable opinions on the project, stating that the oncology centre should be incorporated into the future Central Hospital.

The Minister of Health explained that the construction of the Oncology Centre will be led by the administration of the Algarve University Hospital Centre (CHUA) and that the opinions on the two projects “do not preclude them from moving forward separately.”

Manuel Pizarro did admit, however, that the opinions issued draw attention to “a point that is also very relevant”: “It is evident that the oncology centre must be closely coordinated with the new central hospital of the Algarve.”

The Minister of Health concluded that the oncology centre “can and should proceed with a functional programme that will allow it, in the future, to have a virtuous connection with the new Central Algarve Hospital, which is how things should be.”

PSD Algarve had announced in a statement that the unfavourable opinions came from the Algarve Regional Health Administration (ARS), in the first instance, and from the commission that coordinates the studies for the launch of the new central hospital.

At the end of June, CHUA awarded the execution and speciality projects for the oncology centre, which will enable the treatment of up to 3,000 cancer patients in a single space each year.

The future facility will allow for the diagnosis, treatment, and research in the field of oncology in a single physical space, representing a total investment of €14 million (40% financed by CHUA and the rest by the Algarve 2030 Regional Programme).

Annually, about 1,500 cancer patients are diagnosed in the Algarve, and many are referred for examinations and treatments in Lisbon or Seville, which are 280 and 200 kilometres away from Faro, respectively.

By Michael Bruxo

[email protected]

Portugal Resident