NEWS

Doctors strike to protest bill streamlining healthcare

State hospital doctors, nurses, dentists and employees of the country’s main healthcare provider EOPYY are to walk off the job on Thursday to protest a troika-imposed plan to streamline the primary healthcare sector as the blueprint goes to a vote in Parliament.

Unionists representing the healthcare workers argue that the reforms will “destroy” the Greek healthcare sector and lead to “indescribable difficulties for patients.” Protesters are to stage a rally outside the Health Ministry in central Athens at 11 a.m.

The bill itself is expected to pass into law as coalition deputies have indicated that they will support it despite some reservations. Democratic Left, which was the junior partner in the coalition until last June, announced on Wednesday that it would vote down the bill, which it said would “demolish” healthcare services and undermine any prospects for the sector’s reform. It also slammed the government’s plans to put more than 8,000 EOPYY employees in a so-called mobility scheme of forced transfers and layoffs, “spurring insecurity and mistrust.”

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