Photographer's Note

Ok, in fact, this is an ambulance. But nowadays in Portugal we never know when an ambulance is working as a mobile maternity hospital ward, since the government has closed several maternities all over the country. So, delivering mothers from some regions must be transported by ambulance to the far away cities where the public hospitals didn't close yet. Those living nearer to the border are transported to Spanish maternities (in the Badajoz maternity the newborns are already some 10% Portuguese).
The news of births on ambulances, sometimes right on the highway, are becoming more frequent. As many or most ambulances in Portugal are operated by firefighter brigades, the firefighters have been working these days as delivers of newborns.
I won't say whether it is good or bad, but the fact is that the present government of the so-called Socialist Party is closing public facilities and favoring the business of private health care. The result is that poorer families that can't afford private hospitals, are subject to have their children born in ambulances, on the road, if there isn't time to reach an open hospital. The lucky ones may go quicker to a Spanish hospital.
In workshops (WS#1 and WS#2) I post other pictures of ambulances on the road. Tell me which do you prefer or which is best to illustrate this issue.
This post is dedicated to the Portuguese firefighters and ambulance operators, heroes of the forgotten populations, especially in the interior towns and villages.
It's also dedicated to our friend Gonalo (Bluejeans), to whom I wish he won't need the mobile maternity for his wife.
Com as maternidades fechadas em muitas localidades do interior, cada vez h mais notcias de crianas nascendo em ambulncias. As mes que vivem perto da fronteira tm a possibilidade de dar luz em Espanha; na maternidade de Badajoz cerca de 10% dos nascimentos j so bebs portugueses.
Este um dos resultados da opo do governo dito socialista ao fechar servios pblicos e favorecer os negcios de sade privados. No comento se isso bom ou mau.
Esta foto dedicada aos bombeiros e operadores de ambulncias portugueses, autnticos anjos-da-guarda e heris, em especial para as populaes esquecidas do interior.
dedicada tambm ao nosso amigo Gonalo (Bluejeans), a quem desejo que no tenha necessidade deste servio de maternidade mvel.

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Additional Photos by Francisco Santos (xuaxo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4896 W: 319 N: 4862] (6854)
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