Doctors: Federation advances with 80 to 85% strike adherence, ministry indicates 26,7%

Data from the Ministry of Health reveal that participation in Tuesday's strike was 29,8% in Alentejo and 23,5% in the Algarve

On Tuesday, the doctors' strike registered between 80 and 85% participation, according to data from the National Federation of Doctors (Fnam), while the Ministry of Health (MS) indicates a maximum of 26,7%.

Today, doctors are on the second and final day of the strike, called by Fnam, in defense of “fair wages and decent working conditions for all doctors in the National Health Service (SNS)”.

The president of Fnam, Joana Bordalo e Sá, told Lusa this morning that on Tuesday adherence was high, in the order of 80 to 85%, with thousands of surgeries and consultations in hospitals and health centers cancelled, with the expectation May today be similar.

According to data collected by the various institutions of the Ministry of Health sent to Lusa, the participation rate for Tuesday's strike reached a maximum of 26,7%.

The data points to adherence of 36,4% in the Regional Health Administration (ARS) North, 26,7% in the Center, 18,4% in Lisbon and Vale do Tejo, 29,8% in Alentejo and 23,5% in Algarve.

On the first day of the strike, on Tuesday, doctors held demonstrations at the Hospital de São João (Porto), at the Hospital da Universidade de Coimbra and at the Hospital de Santa Maria, in Lisbon.

«On Tuesday, participation was high, around 80 to 85%. We had thousands of surgeries and appointments cancelled. We are not very interested in the war of numbers. That's not what's important. We apologize to the patients for this situation, although the person largely responsible (…) and the one pushing us towards this war is the Ministry of Health and the policies applied by Dr. Manuel Pizarro,” the president of Fnam told Lusa.

In Joana Bordalo e Sá's understanding, there is a clear disregard for SNS users and patients, as doctors have not yet managed to return to the negotiating table.

«It is necessary to resolve the problem of doctors to resolve the situation in the NHS. Other ministries have already resumed negotiations after this political crisis and this did not happen with doctors. We had a meeting canceled on November 08th without any kind of explanation and, although we publicly appealed to return to the table and sent a formal request, we did not receive any kind of response», he highlighted.

Joana Bordalo e Sá also said that Fnam will be in Brussels on Friday with MEPs and representatives from the health commissioner's office.

«We will denounce, we will paint a picture of the health situation and the NHS in Portugal and we will deliver an international manifesto signed by our Spanish counterparts in defense of national health services so that they are public, of quality, accessible and universal for our population and we will deliver solutions that Fnam has so that there are doctors in the SNS», he said.

Fnam considers that the Government has an obligation to reach an agreement with doctors on “a transversal salary update for all doctors, so that they are no longer among the lowest paid doctors in Europe, and so that they improve their working conditions. work, without loss of rights that put doctors and patients at risk", as he reiterated in a statement released on the eve of the strike.

Negotiations between the Ministry of Health and the unions began in 2022, but the lack of agreement has intensified the class struggle, with strikes and declarations of excuse for overtime work beyond the mandatory 150 hours per year, which has caused embarrassment and closure of emergency services in hospitals across the country.