Portugal’s health minister has resigned hours after reports emerged that a pregnant tourist had died after being turned away from a full maternity ward.

The 34-year-old Indian woman reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest while being transferred between Lisbon hospitals.

It follows a string of incidents this summer that critics blame on a staffing crisis across Portuguese natal units.

Dr. Marta Temido had been the health minister since 2018 and is credited with steering Portugal through Covid.

Yesterday, the government said in a statement that Dr. Temido had “realised that she no longer had the conditions to remain in office”.

Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa said the woman’s death was “the last straw” that led to Dr. Temido’s resignation, according to Portugal’s Lusa news agency.

It follows a storm of criticism over the Portuguese government’s handling of staff shortages in maternity units, by temporarily closing some of them and forcing pregnant women to undergo risky transfers between hospitals.

Credit/ BBC

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