Greek health workers stop work for hours in protest against privatization bill

Unionists demand withdrawal of bill that will privatize parts of primary health care system

May 10, 2022

Healthcare unionists in Greece staged a five-hour work stoppage on Tuesday and demanding the withdrawal of a bill that will privatize a part of the country’s primary health care system.

Holding banners and chanting slogans against the proposed privatization, doctors, nurses and other medical staff gathered outside the Health Ministry in central Athens.

They marched from the ministry to the parliament house where the bill will be debated later on Tuesday.

The Panhellenic Federation of Public Hospital Employees POEDIN, the union affiliated with healthcare employees, said in a press release that the government is ripping off the national health system.

“We Healthcare employees do not want patients’ money but substantial increases in salaries now that price hikes have crumbled us. A newly appointed health worker receives a salary below the minimum wage of the unskilled worker,” the press release said.

Both unions that participated in the rally — the Federation of Hospital Doctors Associations of Greece (OENGE) and the Pan-Hellenic Federation of Public Hospital Employees — have rejected the bill.

Among the unions’ demands are the withdrawal of the bill, the removal of work suspensions and an increase in salaries.

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