The first 50 years of UTIC's life
On April 5, at the Aula Magna of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon, several distinguished guests got together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UTIC, the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit of the Cardiology Department, integrated into the Heart and Vessels Department of the Lisboa Norte University Hospital Centre.
In the presence of the Minister of Health, the President of the Medical Association, and accompanied by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CHULN and Professor Carlos Ribeiro, Fausto J. Pinto, Director of the FMUL, and also Head of the Heart and Vessels Department of the CHULN, opened the session by referring the importance of the masters of the past to guide the values of "being with others", a speech that reinforced the statement of principles shared by all medical generations. Then, Fausto J. Pinto read the speech sent by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who was not able to attend the ceremony.
In a proud speech, whose numbers reinforce the UTIC's prestige, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CHULN, Carlos Neves Martins, mentioned the current figure of 3% of deaths caused by myocardial infarction, against the 40% of the past. He also referred to the UTIC as a centre of integrated responsibility, integrated into the Heart and Vessels department. He put particular emphasis on the relocation of the UTIC, which underwent "a quiet revolution from a structural point of view, achieving a new sustained success with the reorganization of all the services in one floor". Positive signs of hope, contrary to some facts that have emerged in recent years. "We are looking for an answer to the National Health Service with this strategy to lead this Unit, countering the crisis of the last few years."
Speaking directly to the Minister of Health, the President of the Medical Association, Miguel Guimarães, started by asking for "more attention to be paid to Health units".
He referred to his representative for the Presidency, Professor Carlos Ribeiro, with great appreciation, and he did not fail to mention Fernando Pádua, who also attended the ceremony, as an obvious reference in Cardiology and the communication he has been developing.
The UTIC was not forgotten, and while "it's father was Arsénio, all doctors are its mothers". The doctors and "all the people who bring the CHULN to life every day are heroes", was his last statement.
After mentioning the special presence of the daughter of UTIC's founder, Arsénio Cordeiro, and Jorge Soares, representing the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Minister of Health, Marta Temido, reinforced "the need for timely intervention in cardiovascular risks." Not forgetting the strong responsibility of the Lisboa Norte University Hospital Centre, she made a point of saying that it is "one of the best the National Health Service has to offer".
Professor and great promoter of the UTIC in the 1980's, Carlos Ribeiro gave a brief presentation about the steps that put the UTIC in the limelight and gave rise to multicentric studies. "Arsénio's wish of not leaving behind orphans but rather successors was fulfilled, but the UTIC is more than the past, it is also, in Fausto J. Pinto's hands, the future".
A video celebrating the 50th anniversary of the UTIC was screened to remember the first historical years of the Unit.
Closing the morning session, British Cardiologist and Intensive Care Provider Susanna Price, referred to the extreme importance of "not separating intensive care from Cardiology, because it is this combination that will allow someone who has a cardiac arrest not to be pronounced dead."
The day was marked by the speeches of lecturers who were involved in the creation of the UTIC, but also of other figures of national and international reputation who filled an auditorium with their testimonials and points of view on Cardiology and how to improve the patients' health.
Every year, on April 7, the UTIC will celebrate another anniversary. And with each passing year it will have new names and concepts to present. For now, and after its first 50 years of life, all that's left to say is...
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