Irishman helitransported to hospital in Algarve
A 27-year old Irishman fell on a cliff at Ingrina Beach, in Vila do Bispo, and required transport by helicopter to the Faro Hospital. The unfortunate event happened last Thursday, January 10th. According to Sul Informação, the man was escalating when he fell from a height of nearly 100 feet. The resulting spine injury was affecting his legs movements.
The rescue operation involved a team of the Polícia Marítima (Marine Police), INEM (“National Institute for Medical Emergencies”) and the local firefighters. Sul Informação underlines that the place where the tourist was trapped was tough to reach.
The INEM helicopters
There has been a surge of cases regarding the helicopters of INEM lately. In December, a unit crashed in some hills on the outskirts of Porto, killing all four people aboard. Rain and fog were deemed the primary cause for what was the first accident ever with this equipment. Now, in January, an INEM doctor has been sacked after being accused of several misbehaviours, mainly refusing to transport urgent patients by helicopter (to Lisbon’s central hospitals) while on duty. The complaints have been arising over the last year.
The public outcry regarding these two cases might give the notion that the INEM helicopters are in some sort of crisis. So, it’s important to remember these other not so well-known events, like the rescue of an unfortunate tourist by helicopter, to distinguish between what is the norm and what is the exception. The standard is that INEM has the small Portuguese territory covered by helicopter in case of urgency and need. Moreover, unprofessional doctors are not free to keep their seats and salaries without being checked.
Weekend tip: Festas das Chouriças
As usual, we like to highlight what the “other” Algarve has to offer, away from the beaches: the quaint villages, Nature, and local traditions. On January 20th, Querença will host the “Festa das Chouriças”, with music, a religious procession and the tasting of “chouriça”, the Portuguese delicacy made of pork. A must in Winter time.