Hundreds of patients being treated in hospitals and public oncology institutes awaiting colon and rectum examinations are being passed by users who are only going to do screening colonoscopies.
"It is a shame what is being done", denounces the president of the Portuguese Society of Gastrenterology (GSP). Luís Tomé, at Expresso, says that public hospitals are leaving their patients on the waiting list to give priority to screening colonoscopies, in order to obtain more funding from the State, since these exams are paid double by Ministry of Health.
A regular colonoscopy is paid at 169 euros, the same amount as the private ones receive with agreement with the State, but when it is made for prevention and early detection of cancerous lesions is paid at 378 euros, indicates the weekly.
Saturday Exams to Increase Productivity
The difference in payment "aims to increase the adhesion of the teams to an extra task and is having an effect," stresses the newspaper, stressing that these preventive tests can be done on Saturdays in some hospitals.
"If we had installed capacity in hospitals, we would have no problem, but anesthesiologists and colonoscopes are missing, the material is not renewed," laments the president of SPG. "It is a shame what is being done."
The Regional Health Administrations (ARS) justify the measure with the importance of screening in cases of cancer. "It is fundamental to reduce mortality and morbidity from colon and rectum cancer, a disease that is still in an ascending phase," says the Lisbon source cited by Expresso.