Peruvian health workers will go on strike again

(LIP-wb) — If it wouldn’t be in the middle of the Peruvian summer, one could say that once again Peruvians seeking medical help at state hospitals and clinics will be left out in the cold.

On Sunday the Peruvian Medical Federation (FMP) confirmed another nationwide 48-hour strike for Wednesday and Thursday, February 14-15. The union announced that in nearly 5,000 premises operated by the Health Ministry there will be no external consultations and examinations.

However, union president Julio Vargas guaranteed the attention of patients who are in intensive care and emergency units, as well as hospitalized patients that require special attention.

One of the health workers’ requests is the necessity to implement a unique health system that integrates all non-private Peruvian providers such as Minsa, Essalud, the hospitals of the Armed Forces and the National Police, as well as the Solidaridad hospitals, to avoid isolation and vertical measures.

Vargas also requested to increase the health budget to at least 1.8 billion Nuevo Soles and he demanded to initiate the discussion of the 2007 platform that contemplates the fulfillment of the "Law of Medical Work" (Ley del Trabajo Médico), as well as to provide an equal level for social security physicians.

Another critical point is the accomplishment of a dialog between the union and the health ministry to discuss the implementation of primary health services under municipal direction.