The Portuguese President of the Republic Praised “Community” Created by Hospital da Luz

“This house became an institution. It created the spirit of a body and the full commitment of doctors, nurses and auxiliary personnel, which are transmitted to patients. The community formed around this institution is fundamental”, underlined today the President of the Republic, in the speech closing the ceremony celebrating the 10th anniversary of Hospital da Luz Lisboa, the larger unit of Luz Saúde Group.

At the ceremony, were also present the president of Lisbon City Council, Fernando Medina, the president of the Parliamentary Health Committee, Matos Rosa, the Secretary of State for Health, Manuel Delgado, and the presidents of the Order of Physicians and of the Order of Engineers, Miguel Guimarães and Carlos Aires, respectively, among other individualities.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa praised the work of Isabel Vaz, Luz Saúde CEO, and José Roquette, clinical director of Hospital da Luz Lisboa. “These 10 years proved that Isabel Vaz was the right person to take this project ahead”, whose expansion she continues “to conceive with unlimited horizon”, and always applying a “determination and exhaustive energy, even exhausting”, he joked. In this mission, the President added, “she was very well supported by José Roquette”. “And to be fair, we have to recognize that there were others who also contributed for this success, which are and always will be present in our memory, independently of the vicissitudes occurred, which are irrelevant here”, he further said with implicit reference to Ricardo Salgado, who fostered the hospital’s project within Espírito Santo Group.

The President also reminded that “there were moments of doubt as to the future of the institution” – alluding to the complex process experienced in 2014 by the company owner of the Hospital, with the subsequent alteration of designation (from Espírito Santo Saúde to Luz Saúde) and of shareholder (Fidelidade, owned by the Chinese group Fosun) –, but he concluded that the future is now ensured. Proof of that is the project of expansion and doubling capacity announced today, he stated, further emphasizing “the important role of Chinese investment in our country”.

“Our interests coincide: Portugal was grand whenever it opened itself to expansion outwards; for China, it is important to have an entry gate to Europe”, explained the President of the Republic. “The internationalization of our economy and the opening to new horizons beyond the geographical spaces of Portuguese language and Europe, that are natural to us, are extremely important in the financial and commercial sector, but also in other sectors, such as health.”

“I belong affectively to this community”

“As citizen, I belong a little, affectively, to this community”, reminded Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, describing the voluntary work he did, in recent years, in the Unit of Palliative Care of Hospital da Luz Lisboa, “always mobilized” by the director of the service, Isabel Galriça Neto, and which allowed him “to understand that it is the human touch that gives sense to the technological, academic and scientific experience”.

The President of the Republic insisted on highlighting that Hospital da Luz Lisboa “contributed to the revolution” operated in palliative care in Portugal, namely in the way it is thought today. “It is not care exclusively destined for the final stage of life. Palliative care starts ever more earlier, in terms of age and situations, and it is also Medicine. Today, we know that. And Luz contributed for that knowledge – it was pedagogical.”

“Now, we have to look at the future. I most certainly will not be here as President of the Republic, when the Hospital celebrates another decade, but I will be present as citizen. And we will all be here to testify our fidelity to a project intended, right from the beginning, to be renovating, and testify its capacity of integration in this wave towards the future, of Lisbon and of Portugal, by creating value. And always with human warmth, which is after all the essence of affection”, concluded the President.

Fernando Medina promises Lisbon’s “committed cooperation”

Before Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the president of the Lisbon City Council firmly stressed that “the city wouldn’t be the same without a health unit of reference such as Hospital da Luz”. Therefore, Fernando Medina thanked, in the name of the citizens, “the work of excellence” of all the collaborators that helped to create and develop the Hospital.

“It is perfectly clear that the Luz Saúde fundamental values of excellence, accuracy and innovation will persist”, he highlighted, noting that the Hospital is “fundamental” for the future of a city “ever more cosmopolitan and wishing to attract more people and implant itself in global economy”. “I hope the next 10 years will be at least as demanding and challenging as the ones elapsed and I would like to leave a word of confidence and committed collaboration from Lisbon City Council. The success of Hospital da Luz Lisboa will also be the success of our city”, he concluded.