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Posted by portugalpress on September 11, 2017

Up and down the country, nurses joined picket lines outside their places of work today, with the walkout due to stay in place until Friday.

From Porto to the Algarve, all indications are that this is a strike with huge support despite the threats of dismissal said to have come from the government.

Said one nurse outside Faro Hospital this morning, no one is taking any notice of the threats, because if the health ministry went ahead “it would have to dismiss almost the whole country”.

The issues centre on problems that stretch way back to the times of austerity. Nurses want to be included in the 35-hour working week for public sector workers - something the government has really been dragging its heels over - and they want salaries to be ‘brought up to date’.

There are also serious problems regarding the way specialist nurses are treated. For this, read “not treated specially”.

But while the strike continues, Nurses syndicate José Azevedo has assured reporters that patients’ safety is safeguarded.

Minimum services will be maintained throughout, and indeed some services will function normally. These include: pediatric and psychiatric departments, casualty wards, intensive care and “all situations that are dependent”.

These services will be 100% assured, said Azevedo.

“Casualties” of the strike will be adult and general care - namely consultations and non-urgent operations, all of which are likely to be cancelled.