Portuguese Health Minister Marta Temido resigned on Tuesday amid widespread criticism of her decision to temporarily close some of the country’s emergency care services due to staff shortages, local media reported.
Temido’s resignation came hours after reports emerged that a pregnant woman died of a cardiac arrest on Saturday during an ambulance transfer from Lisbon’s main hospital Santa Maria, which had no vacancies in the neonatology service, to another hospital in the capital.
The government took the measure to close emergency obstetric services, especially at weekends, as several hospitals did not have enough doctors during the summer holidays.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said he had accepted her resignation and thanked Temido for her work, especially “in the exceptional period of combating the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He has not yet announced who will succeed Temido, but said in a statement that he will “continue the ongoing reforms to strengthen the National Health Service (SNS) and improve the health care provided to the Portuguese.”
Temido became health minister in October 2018. She was elected deputy of the Portuguese parliament representing the city of Coimbra in the central Portugal region in the last elections held on Jan. 30.