Health Workers Strike Begins in Paraguay

Asunción, Dec 28. -Health workers in Paraguay began on Wednesday a general strike for wage claims and other administrative demands, which will extend until next week.Images broadcast by the TV news La Mañana de cada dia (the Morning of each day) featured verbal confrontations between strikers and the management of the Emergency Medical Center.

The strikers are demanding equal pay, regularization of the payment of debts and the restitution in their jobs of two doctors of the district hospital in Caaguazú department, according to news reports.

The National Federation of Health Workers is also questioning the health policy implemented by the Minister Esperanza Martinez, referring to the implementation of Primary Health Care.

According to officials quoted by national media, doctors criticized the salary of professionals working in this new system of preventive care and the lack of infrastructure in hospitals within the country.

Martinez said that the doctors in the primary care system receive the same salary as the rest of their colleagues in hospitals.

A tripartite meeting is scheduled this Wednesday between the Ministries of Public Health, Justice and Labor and Finance with the workers in order to terminate the strike and reach an agreement. (Prensa Latina)