"The pandemic has exposed the harsh reality of the country's health care system. The government has not been able to keep up with the prevention of public health at the national level," the Medical Union of Peru's Social Security (Sinamssop) Secretary Teodoro Quiñones said.
Workers of the Public Healthcare System (EsSalud) announced a 48-hour national protest and warned with an indefinite shutdown if the government does not attend their request. Also, the staff of the Peruvian Medical Federation joined the demonstrations.
During the two-day strike, health workers will not hold face-to-face consultations or teleconsultations, nor will they perform scheduled surgeries. However, pharmacy services will serve on a limited basis, while care for emergencies and COVID-19 will remain in service.
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In August, health professionals working on the COVID-19 frontline also held protests to demand better biosecurity equipment. So far, over 4,000 healthcare workers have been infected and about 200 have died because of the virus.
Health Minister Fiorella Molinelli "does not care about the work of the doctors, who have shown that they are not afraid of this pandemic, nor of the threats from the bosses, who threaten to fire us if we go on strike," Quiñones denounced.
As of Wednesday morning, Peru registered 811,768 COVID-19 cases, 32,396 deaths, and 676,925 recoveries from the virus.