Coronavirus: Peru Health Workers Begin 48-hour Walkout

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  • Bloomberg QuickTake: Now published this video item, entitled “Coronavirus: Peru Health Workers Begin 48-hour Walkout” – below is their description.

    Doctors and health workers in Peru who work for EsSalud, the country’s national social security health care insurer, on Tuesday demanded increased salaries and other economic claims in a country severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 9,000 affiliated doctors, dentists, pharmaceutical chemists along with medical staff from all of the country’s hospitals are staging a 48-hour walkout in Lima. Emergency rooms, intensive care rooms, and hospital rooms were operating normally, but pre-scheduled consultations or surgeries were suspended around the nation. Teodoro Quiñones, Secretary of the social security doctors’ union, said the Peruvian government does not comply with increasing the salaries promised at the beginning of the year and the bonuses for working in times of pandemic. Also joining the protest were a group of young doctors whose contracts are precarious and do not include all the labour rights enjoyed by older doctors. Doctors earn varying salaries, but in the public sector the average is 985 US dollars per month. Most take additional jobs at private hospitals to bring more money home. According to the Peruvian Ombudsman’s Office, there are more than 4,000 health workers – which include doctors, nurses and laboratory workers – who work without health, life, and occupational risk insurance and also do not have the right to sick leave in case they are diagnosed with the virus. A total of 166 doctors have died from the new coronavirus. The neglect of decades of the Peruvian health system has come to light during this pandemic that has left 32,000 dead and over 808,000 infected as of late Monday.

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