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Greek Doctors, Hospital Workers Will Strike

F262AF412D2727313D7C139FB3B5B4B5Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ hope to keep down social unrest is going unheeded as workers at public hospitals, health centers, welfare structures and the ambulance service will strike for 24 hours on July 24, leaving only a skeleton staff on duty.
They are protesting the government’s so-called mobility scheme in which 12,500 workers will be transferred involuntarily or put on 75 percent of their already reduced pay for up to eight months and then fired if another position can’t be found for them.
The plan means that 2,500 health care workers could lose their jobs while hospitals will be closed or merged or turned into health care centers with fewer services as the government tries to cut spending on the orders of international lenders.
The PanHellenic Federation of Employees in Public Hospitals (POEDIN) said that, “This process leads to layoffs,” and added that, “The mergers, the closure of hospitals, the closure of 770 units, which are parts of the Greek National Health System, the new organizations, the possible repeal of entire professional fields, will be the tools for the implementation of this analgesic policy in the field of health.”
While the doctors for now won’t lose positions they said they are striking in sympathy with their colleagues. The General Council of the Greek Federation of Hospital Doctors (OENGE) said the loss of workers employed in the Greek National Health System “will be disastrous for the public health system.”
It claimed that, “The government blindly follows the commands of the Troika (its international lenders) and dismiss employees who are absolutely necessary for the daily operation of the Greek National Health System, instead of covering the 20,000 gaps of personnel and the shortages of 6,000 doctors in the Hospitals and in the Health Centers.”

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