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Complaints about working conditions are joined by fatigue after months of intense stress.
After unsuccessful negotiations with the government of the Madrid Comunity, over 4,600 doctors, nurses, and pharmacy personnel, who are in the process of training as specialists, began on Monday an indefinite strike to protest against exploitation they suffer in hospitals.
On their strike's first day, they staged protests in the morning in their hospitals before attending a demonstration at the regional Health Ministry's headquarters.
"They call it training is exploitation," "I've been working for 24 hours. Do I attend you?," read some banners the doctors carried.
"The strike's reason is the lack of negotiation and consideration towards doctors... After knowing the authorities' refusal to negotiate a collective agreement, their strike committee reaffirmed the strike was the only option to claim their rights," local outlet Moncloa explained.
In Spain, after their university training, health personnel must carry out the specialization, after passing an exam, and this includes work in public health centers.
Primera jornada de huelga de médicos residentes en Madrid. Están en su derecho y tienen suficientes motivos para hacerlo. Están desconsiderados, explotados y mal pagados. Que los aplausos a las 20:00 estuvieron bien pero igual hay que apoyarlos en la calle. pic.twitter.com/4aWQ1aQWwI
"Resident doctors' first day of strike in Madrid. They have the right and sufficient reason to do so. They are poorly treated, exploited, and poorly paid. Although the applause at 20:00 was good, we must support them on the streets."
Their work was essential during the pandemic, which had a special incidence in Madrid. Complaints about working conditions and remuneration are joined by fatigue after months in which the public health suffered strong stress.
As resident doctors they marched through the streets, they received the support of the population who applauded them from the balconies. When arriving at the building of the city's health ministry, some officials also applauded them when they chanted "Public Health".
Madrid, Catalonia, and the Balearic Islands are the three Spanish regions with the greatest healthcare privatization in recent years, according to the Federation of Associations for the Defense of Public Health (FADSP).