Portugal’s health minister resigned hours after reports emerged that a pregnant Indian tourist died on being turned away from a maternity ward, media reports said.
The 34-year-old Indian woman reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest while being transferred between Lisbon hospitals, the BBC said.
Local media reported that she died while being moved from Lisbon’s Santa Maria Hospital – the largest in Portugal – because its neonatology unit was full.
Her baby was delivered in good health following an emergency caesarean section, authorities said. An investigation into the woman’s death has been launched.
The BBC report said it was due to staffing crisis across Portuguese natal units that caused the tragedy.
Marta Temido, who was the health minister since 2018, and was credited with steering Portugal through Covid, quit Tuesday, the government said in a statement.
Temido had “realised that she no longer had the conditions to remain in office”, the BBC quoted the statement as saying.
Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa said the woman’s death was “the last straw” that led to Temido’s resignation, according to Portugal’s Lusa news agency.
There have been similar incidents across Portugal in recent months – including the separate deaths of two infants whose mothers had apparently been transferred between hospitals and endured long delays.