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Portugal's Health Minister Resigns After Pregnant Indian Woman Dies in Lisbon

The Indian tourist was turned away from a full maternity ward, and died while being shifted to another hospital.

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Edited By :Tejas Harad

Portugal's Health Minister Marta Temido stepped down from her post on Tuesday, 31 August, after a 34-year-old pregnant Indian woman lost her life while being shifted between hospitals in Lisbon.

The Indian tourist was turned away from a maternity ward which was full, and suffered a cardiac arrest while being transferred to another hospital, as per news agency Reuters. Her baby survived following an emergency caesarean section.

Temido's resignation follows a widespread criticism of her decision to temporarily close emergency obstetric services over lack of staff, leading to risky transfers of pregnant women between hospitals.

Portugal's Health Ministry said in a statement that the minister "realised that she no longer had the conditions to remain in office."

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In a separate statement, Portugal's Prime Minister António Costa said the woman's death was "the last straw" that led to Temido's resignation, according to Portugal's Lusa news agency. Costa said he had accepted her resignation and thanked Temido for her work.

The prime minister said on Twitter that the government would push ahead with reforms to strengthen the national health service, but gave no indication about Temido’s replacement.

Temido had been serving as the country's health minister since 2018, and is credited with steering Portugal through the COVID-19 pandemic.

(With inputs from Reuters and Lusa.)

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Edited By :Tejas Harad
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