WORLD / EUROPE
Polish health workers rally for a rise in payroll
Published: Sep 12, 2021 06:34 PM
A woman wearing a face mask walks on a street in central Warsaw, Poland, on March 20, 2021. The government of Poland announced a new nationwide partial lockdown on Friday after the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic exceeded two million in the country.(Photo: Xinhua)

A woman wearing a face mask walks on a street in central Warsaw, Poland, on March 20, 2021. The government of Poland announced a new nationwide partial lockdown on Friday after the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic exceeded two million in the country.(Photo: Xinhua)



Thousands of medics rallied in Warsaw on Saturday for better pay and conditions, criticizing the government for failing to compensate them for the added workload during the pandemic.

Nurses, doctors and paramedics marched through central Warsaw, holding a minute's silence outside the presidential palace in memory of the 500 medics killed during the pandemic.

"We Don't Live Long Because We Work Hard," "Come to the Wards: They'll be Closing Soon" and "We Demand Decent Salaries," read some of the placards at the protest, where some participants waved European Union flags.

Talks between the protest and strike organizers and the health ministry on Friday ended with no agreement and Health Minister Adam Niedzielski dismissed the demands as "absurd."

"This is blackmail politics," he said, adding however that he had invited the protest committee for more talks on Tuesday.

Poland's healthcare system was put under severe strain by the pandemic in 2021 and officials are concerned about the growing rate of coronavirus cases as vaccinations slow down.

Some 59 percent of Poles are fully vaccinated, compared to an average of more than 70 percent across the European Union. Poland reported 531 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

AFP
blog comments powered by Disqus