January strike by doctors in Spain moves one step closer to being called off

Image of a doctor and patient. Credit: Andrei_R/shutterstock.com

The proposed doctor’s strike in January 2023 moved one step closer to being called off after a productive meeting between the Ministry of Health and the CESM-CV medical union.

 

Sources from the CESM-CV medical union – the organiser of the strike planned for January 17 and 18 – reported today, Thursday, December 22, that after the ‘satisfactory’ meeting held this morning with representatives of the Ministry of Health, the potential doctor’s strike in Spain is one step closer to being called off.

Although there has been no definitive agreement put on the table, this second official meeting between the Ministry and the union has ended with a positive feeling. The union however felt that at this time, the possibility of reaching an agreement ‘is real, since there is a will to agree’ on the part of the administration so that the stoppages do not occur.

Pressure from other unions threatening that all staff – not just doctors – would go on strike, helped pave the way for this second meeting of the strike committee, as reported by levante-emv.com.

As a result, the sectoral table will sit down this Friday 23 to negotiate with the Ministry of Health over the application of the 35-hour day for all health personnel, a claim that the medical union also included.

Victor Pedrera, the CESM-CV’s general secretary explained: “It was one of our main demands and it will be dealt with”, who said he believed some good had already come from the strike as a result. “If this willingness to dialogue is maintained, an agreement can be reached soon because a high percentage of what they offer meets our demands”, he added.

In addition to the 35-hour working day (which should also exclude Saturday), the medical union believes it is essential to reach agreements on other key points. These include modifying the regulations relating to on-call duty so that there is a maximum number of patients.

Age exemptions must also be complied with and primary care doctors should have a ceiling on their daily appointments, something which is a real red line for the union.

“In the Balearic Islands they have already signed an agreement on 26 patients per doctor per day”, Pedrera pointed out. Strike action in Madrid has also been temporarily suspended until January 11 after having also reached a compromise. The parties agreed to resume negotiations in the first week of 2023, with the aim of reaching an agreement before January 17.

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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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