French Unions Call For Nationwide Public Hospital Strikes

French health professionals affiliated with nine major unions and groups staged nationwide protests against a lack of staff and resources on Tuesday.

According to a list compiled by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), rallies were planned in at least 50 cities, including in Paris in front of the health ministry, Grenoble, Marseille, Nantes, Toulouse, as well as in smaller towns such as Aurillac, Epernay, and Cherbourg.

The CGT expressed that the protests were organized to raise awareness about the “situation of the public hospital as well as the medico-social and social sectors.”

Data released by the Samu-Urgences de France (SUdF) organization at the end of May revealed that more than 100 hospitals in France have been forced to limit their activities or are planning to do so due to a scarcity of medical personnel.

“The Covid-19 crisis has totally exhausted the health workers who were already at their wits end,” said Thierry Amouroux from The National Union for Nurses (SNPI).

The protests came only one week after newly re-elected President Emmanuel Macron ordered an investigation into whether emergency facilities in the sector require immediate assistance.

The main gynecologists’ union warned at the end of May that the scarcity of nurses in maternity units had “reached a critical level,” creating the potential of “unexpected summer closures.”

The Syndicat des gynécologues-obstétriciens de France (Sygnof) deemed the crisis “An accident waiting to happen.”

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