Mayors of Porto, Valongo and Maia argue that a heliport is urgently needed in the Hospital de S. João

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The outlining goal is to shorten the response times when dealing with serious patients’ situations, namely politraumayised patients, whose handling must be as swift as possible in order to, literally, increase the chances of saving more lives. Thus, the Hospital de São João wants to have a heliport, as it once did.

The project is already approved, but needs funding, especially European funding. The Mayors of the Municipalities of Porto, Maia and Valongo signed a letter to address to the Minister of Planning, the Minister of Infrastructure, and the President of the CCDR-N, where the three local elected urge the central government to turn this valence into reality.

The Hospital de São João is the reference institution in the region, as regards critical patients’ treatment. Yet, every time someone needs to be transported by helicopter from any part of the country, the patient is directed to Matosinhos, the nearby municipality, namely to the Hospital Pedro Hispano and, from there, be driven in an ambulance to the São João Hospital. This situation can determine if a treatment is successful or not.

The Chairman of the Board of the Hospital de São João stated that “help gets harder and longer and there are patients when the time factor is crucial as regards recovery, or even morbidity or mortality”. Fernando Araújo recalls that the Hospital had a heliport when it was built, but the equipment was deactivated for technical reasons and legal requirements about twenty years ago.

The building of the heliport is, as Fernando Araújo explained, “crucial even for us to be able to congregate every single effort that has been made in other parts of the country, namely in the countryside, and the excellent INEM’s fleet of helicopters”.

“This is a landmark project not just for the hospital, but also for the entire region”, enhances the Chairman of the Board of the Hospital de São João, stating that “the project was developed with the National Aviation Authority (ANAC) and it is highly demanding from the technical point of view”. The public tender is also approved and the only missing part is the financing, which, once resolved, can bring a heliport to the Hospital de São João in just six months’ time.