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ARGENTINA | 13-05-2021 02:26

Nurses, health workers demonstrate for improved pay, working conditions

Healthcare professionals, working round the clock to tackle the impact of Covid-19 second wave, take to the streets calling for improved pay and working conditions.

Nurses and healthcare professionals took to the streets across the country on Wednesday to demand better wages, improved working conditions and investment in equipment.

The demonstration comes with a second wave of Covid-19 putting severe pressure on Argentina’s health system in the country, with more than 68,000 deaths and 3.2 million infections registered to date.

"We are holding a symbolic act with torches, to also accompany families who have lost loved ones," said David Flores, a 49-year-old nurse, as he marched.

Protesters in the capital walked the kilometre and a half that separates the National Congress building and the historic Plaza de Mayo, where the main rally congregated to demonstrate. Satellite events took place in towns and cities across the country. 

The protest was organised to coincide with International Nurses Day.

"Salaries are low, we can no longer survive – they do not reach the minimum of the basic food basket: 35,000 pesos [approx US$350 a month], we can no longer do it anymore," Juan Ángel Fuscaldo, a 56-year-old nurse, detailing what a new nurse earns each month working at a hospital in Buenos Aires City. 

Nurses, surgical specialists, technicians and health assistants all participated in the rallies.

"We are below the poverty line, the nurses of CABA [Autonomous City of Buenos Aires] are on the verge of being destitute," said María Lorena Díaz, a 49-year-old nurse.

The protest included assemblies and rallies at hospitals to denounce the exhaustion of health staff and the strain put on facilities, given the recent surge in the number of patients suffering from Covid-19.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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