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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Healthcare staff demonstrate in Warsaw

11.09.2021 14:30
Unions warn that this is the start of a nationwide protest action
Head of the Union of Nurses and Midwives Krystyna Ptok at Saturdays protest in Warsaw
Head of the Union of Nurses and Midwives Krystyna Ptok at Saturday's protest in WarsawPAP/Tomasz Gzell

 Healthcare staff staged a protest march and rally in Warsaw, gathering outside parliament and the Prime Minister's Office. Unions warn that this is the start of a nationwide protest action over demands which the Health Ministry is calling "unrealistic".

 The medics are demanding higher pay, which they argue should be on "European levels", increased funds for paramedics and ambulance crews, as well as more administrative support and that staff levels be linked to the number of patients.

 Participants in the march and rally told Polish Press Agency PAP that the protest was because "for many years spending on healthcare has been too low" but that it not only concerned pay but also new methods of treatment and accessibility of services.

 Healthcare union leaders had been scheduled to meet with Health Minister Adam Niedzielski on Friday, but walked out when it turned out PM Mateusz Morawiecki would not be present. 

 Under a new bill currently going through parliament, the government seeks to raise healthcare spending to 7 percent of GDP by 2027.

Source: PAP, IAR