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  • Health care workers transfer a COVID-19 patient to a hospital, Montevideo, Uruguay, Nov. 11, 2020.

    Health care workers transfer a COVID-19 patient to a hospital, Montevideo, Uruguay, Nov. 11, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 18 November 2020
Opinion

The National Medical Union rejects "the position of the private health care providers, who refuse to integrate the medical sector in advisory commissions linked to strengthening and improving the quality of care."

Uruguay's National Medical Union (SMU) and the Medical Federation of the Interior (FEMI) Wednesday called for a 24-hour strike in the private sector and mobile emergencies to demand better working conditions.

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On November 5, the General Assembly of the SMU agreed to carry out the national strike due to "the lack of progress in the negotiation with the Wage Council of the private sector."

SMU representatives noted that the wage guidelines proposed by the private sector and the government 'are tremendously insufficient and represent a setback in the working conditions achieved in previous agreements', including "the loss of wages, labor rights, and quality in Health Care services."

"In the pandemic scenario, it is not acceptable to try to cut rights, lose wages. This weakens the health system, causing the loss of quality of care for the population." SMU chairman Federico Preve noted.

"The SMU holds collective negotiations to defend doctors' wages and working conditions."

On November 6, the SMU Executive Committee rejected "the position of the private health care providers, who within the scope of the National Health Board (JUNASA), refuse to integrate the medical sector in advisory commissions linked to strengthening and improving the quality of care."

Negotiations between the government, the private sector, and health workers unions are part of the eighth round of annual wage councils in which almost all the sectoral tables have already closed. 

Meanwhile, Minister of Labor and Social Security Pablo Mieres has pointed out that the Government prioritizes the dialogue, but few agreements have been reached.

On Tuesday, Uruguay reported 104 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the total number of confirmed cases to 4,208 since the outbreak of the epidemic in the country. The Death toll stands at 68, while 792 cases remain active.

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