Doctors launch two-day strike in Portugal

11 May 2017

Doctors working for Portugal’s public health system have launched a strike in protest against working conditions and budget cuts that they say have affected the quality of services.

Diana Povoas, a leader of the National Federation of Doctors (FNAM), said on Wednesday that many from a population of 26,000 doctors working in public hospitals and health facilities took part in the walkout, which was to last for two days.

"All signs show strong turnout for the strike," said Povoas, adding, "Most non-emergency surgeries and appointments are not taking place, but the atmosphere is calm in hospitals. Patients understand the reasons for the strike because they also feel a decline in services".

FNAM and another doctors' union known as SIM organized the strike. They want a reduction in working hours for emergency workers from 200 hours a year to 150, while calling on the government to cancel budget cuts that were adopted during Portugal’s negotiations with international creditors between 2011 and 2014.

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Photo: open sources

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