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Doctors in Italy strike against proposed pension cuts

IANS | December 06, 2023 10:48 AM

ROME: Thousands of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers staged a 24-hour nationwide strike in Italy, demanding better working conditions and improvements to the public health system.

They on Tuesday also protested against proposed pension cuts in the 2024 budget bill, which was approved by the government in October and is now awaiting approval by Parliament, Xinhua news agency reported.

Some 85 per cent of staff of the National Health Service (SSN) and private medical facilities stayed away from work on Tuesday, according to the sector's unions. As a result, some 1.5 million health checks and surgeries planned for the day had to be postponed, although key healthcare services were provided, local media reported citing the unions.

A major rally was held in Rome to support the strike.

Besides their specific economic demands, Italy's healthcare professionals also urged more investment in the SSN to prepare it for current and future challenges.

Late on Monday, Italy's Minister for Relations with Parliament Luca Ciriani said that the cabinet was planning to amend the budget bill's provisions on medical pensions.

After holding meetings with the healthcare unions in late November, Health Minister Orazio Schillaci also told local media he was open to dialogue and ready to compromise on the healthcare workers' demands.

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