70 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 21.5.2015

Jun 21, 2015 at 11:09 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We continued our talk with Dr. C.P. about the situation of our health services in Madeira. He made it clear that the six towers building next to the hospital is not a good idea, it’s not even safe: the plot is on a slope where the exhaust fumes of the cars on the roundabout and tunnel below would float up the hill and adversely affect (at least) the patients with breathing problems. A new hospital is really needed; it would be possible to install modern and well-designed supply piping (oxygen and the like) and afford better service access (and fire exits). It would be easier to avoid sepsis which in the old hospital cannot be avoided, not due to bad hygiene but due to the building itself. The devil is in the details.

The City Hall commissioned a 20 page study about the feasibility of the six towers, and the result was negative. This study was rejected by the old Government.

The best option would be S. Rita. (The Savoy plot would not have adequate access to the traffic.) Another option would be to tear down the School next to the Hospital (which as all schools, is losing pupils) and build there; the land was originally part of the hospital plot.

The Marmeleiros Hospital (Internal medicine) should be next to the main hospital. Now, recourses are wasted on transport between the units. Due to bad maintenance and management, ambulances are late, even in servicing regular patient transport.

Madeira has a hospital centre, not a “proper” hospital like on the mainland. Rare cases still have to be treated on the continent.

We should have an emphasis on one specialty, eg. fighting diabetes which is prevalent on the island but the island does not have a critical mass of inhabitants. Autonomy in this area is not possible.

The pity is that 80 Mil. € were invested in the old hospital (Nuclear Medicine, Pharmacy, Labs), and even if the equipment is moved, there is a waste of money that cannot be recuperated.

We have, for an island, quite a sophisticated health equipment. The problem is bad management. Doctors and nurses are doing a great job under the circumstances they have to work in.

Some years ago, the hospital was greatly helped by the “Kings Fund” and received an accreditation which it lost a few years later. Another accreditation is sought but in the state the hospital is in, this is doubtful.

In any case, it needs political will to build a new hospital, with funds that will have to come from the continent. In spite of all adversity, the group felt that we shall get a new hospital eventually. It also remains to be seen how the new administration is doing its job.


We discussed John Strelecky’s book “Big Five for Live” again. Ri. suggested that the group do some work in this direction, to find a common purpose for the group, in order not to lose focus and achieve meaningful goals. This might be achieved in one or two meetings. There wasn’t much enthusiasm for this; some members think that to speak about their purpose of life, is too personal. People might not want to have a focus, and it might change with time.

Ri.will approach ECM to see if he can win them as a client for a pilot Project

D. recommended the following TED talk:


It delivers a clear argument that help against poverty, in whatever form, cannot succeed if the recipients live in an environment of danger and violence.. Security can be bought by the rich but the poor need it most of all.


Dennis also recommends a truly beautiful video (30 minutes), based on a short story by French author Jean Giorno,:


There is an excerpt of the book and background info on the author here:









69 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 21.5.2015

May 24, 2015 at 11:26 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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I We visited the Cecilia Zino Foundation; we also invited Dr. C. P. from the Central Hospital to join us for a discussion.

He has an interesting CV, he worked in Latin America and other European countries before coming back to Madeira. He is a General Surgeon in Mendonça since long time.

He is very much in favour of building a new hospital. For technical reasons, it is just not possible to upgrade the old building to the technical requirements of modern medicine. Sepsis is a great danger because of the impossibility to keep the place hygienic as it is, this has nothing to do with cleanliness.

Land which belonged to the hospital grounds has been used to construct a school and a Bairro Social long time ago so there is no space to build a proper annex.

In any case, there needs to be the political will to build a new hospital; much of the funding would come from the mainland. In this case, the 80 Mio invested so far in the old building would go to waste.

Where should the new hospital be?

There are the usual problems to acquire the necessary land in S. Rita, as land owners are greedy to get as much as possible out of their property.

We fantasized a bit: Praia Formosa is the only big piece of land left in FNC but the new hospital only needs to be near the Via Rapida. A few more minutes of transport in an Emir Ambulance doesn’t have an impact on the patients’ mortality rate. A place between FNC and Gaula, for example, would be good as well. The razed Savoy building left a platform, this would also be ideal for a new Hospital.

III U. gave out a third version of her text “Redistribution of Wealth”, to be discussed in a future meeting.

We shall have our next meeting on June 18.





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