Doctors and public health staff joins 24-hour strike

Doctors and public health staff joins 24-hour strike

Greece's public health system will be operating with a skeleton staff at all levels on Wednesday, when doctors and support staff in hospitals, health centres, the ambulance service and welfare units join a 24-hour strike called by the civil servants' union federation ADEDY against the new system for evaluating public sector employees, reports ANA-MPA.

"The government, via the new evaluation system, is seeking to 'construct' new victims that will be turned over to slake the 'appetite' of the troika. It is machinating the break-up and privatisation of the public sector in health and welfare," an announcement by the National Federation of Public Hospital Staff (POEDHN) said on Tuesday. According to the union, 40,000 health sector staff have signed that they refuse to participate in the process.

The hospital doctors' union federation OENGE said the availability scheme, dismissals, disruption of labour relations and abolition of labour law in any meaningful sense sought to convert staff into "casual workers" with low pay and no labour or insurance rights.

Workers at the Agios Savvas cancer hospital, in a press conference, noted that the evaluation procedure imposed meant that 64 of the 429 nursing staff must be given a score below six, irrespective of their performance, when there was a five-month waiting list for the radiation therapy department and a two-month waiting list for the biopathology-anatomy department.

Union members pointed out that there were currently fewer than 600 employees of all categories working in the hospital, when the organisational chart for 2013 called for a permanent staff of 1,071 in addition to doctors.