Portugal's Left Bloc (BE) is to table a bill in parliament aimed at ensuring that hospitals currently overseen by Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) "pass into the public sphere", a deputy for the party, Moisés Ferreira, announced.
In a statement to the assembly, the BE spokesman blamed the current financial and organisational problems of the National Health Service (SNS) on the right-of-centre government that was in power until October 2015, citing in particular long waiting times in accident and emergency departments around the country.
"We can't spend 450 million euros a year on health PPPs," Ferreira said. "The health budget can't [be allowed to be] income for private businesses. For that reason, to defend and bolster the SNS, the BE will present a bill so that current hospitals run by PPPs pass into the public sphere."
The Left Block is among parties to the left of the governing Socialist Party that has an agreement to provide it with support in parliament on most issues, enabling the minority administration to survive and function since it took office in November 2015.
The PPP model has been used in Portugal by several governments, including the Socialist one that preceded the right-of-centre PSD/PP coalition administration between 2005 and 2011, to fund the construction and functioning of hospitals and other major public infrastructure.