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Healthcare Professionals Forced to Leave their Temporary Accommodation

SESARAM are accused of telling more than a dozen nurses, technicians and front line operational assistants last night that they had to leave their temporary assigned apartments by midday today.

The decision was communicated by the Health Service to all those concerned at the end of yesterday, and in some cases late last night that ‘they had to leave their temporarily assigned houses, as the companies that had ceded them were claiming them back in preparation of the forthcoming gradual return of economic activities.’

At the heart of the matter are apartments that were part of the islands Local Accommodation (AL). With the market in freefall, some companies made flats available for about a month and a half. However, the Regional Health Service explains that the situation was provisional and that all those involved were informed of the situation over Easter. Moreover, the leases were extended for another two weeks due to the Câmara de Lobos coronavirus outbreak.

Now that we are easing out of State of Emergency and the economy is gradually re-opening, the Health Service admits to informing professionals that today (30/04/20) they had to vacate. According to a note issued late this morning, following questions posed by local newspaper, JM, SEARAM thanked “the collaboration of Travel To Madeira owner Mr André Loja, for his initiative in freeing up approximately 30 apartments for the use of front line service personnel. But confirmed that it was now time for all those living in temporary accommodation to leave.”

Not only is the indecent eviction causing problems, but many of those living in temporary accommodation continue to provide front line Covid-19 services. Responding to this, SESARAM has said that it has offered all the professionals concerned an alternative and that they can stay in nearby Army facilities.

With or without these solutions, one thing seems inevitable. By midday, some health professionals were without alternative accommodation, while some will remain in theirs until the end of the day. If no solution presents itself, their only option is to return to their family homes. Something they are fearful about, as many are still working on the front line, and worry that they could become infected and infect other family members.

SESARAM Administration states that it has dealt with the emergency generated by Covid-19 through the provision and acquisition of equipment and emergency housing for the ‘covidáro,’ but that they also guaranteed that by the end of today they would “vacate, clean and return all properties.”

Samantha Gannon

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