Minister of Health hopes to reach agreement before paramedic strike

Soledad Barría has indicated that she is negotiating the instatement of a retirement bonus and an additional bonus for workers. The strike is scheduled to begin tomorrow if an agreement is not reached.

28 de Abril de 2008 | 13:32 | El Mercurio Online

SANTIAGO.- Amid the imminent paramedic demonstrations scheduled for Tuesday of this week, the minister of Health, María Soledad Barría, has said that she hopes to reach and an agreement with the sector in order to avoid the strike.

“I have not lost hope of being able to arrive at an agreement, a retirement and additional bonus is being negotiated”, the minister told Radio Cooperativa.

“I would like to clarify the fact that the hospitals would halt activities in the case of a strike, but that emergency doctor’s offices would still be open because this is a separate department”, Barría added.

While addressing the current situation at health centers, Barría stated that the most critical areas for this time of the year are Santiago, Rancagua, Temuco and Concepción and added that the main issue to be worked on is the number of hospital beds. 

Finally, the head of Health emphasized the prevention of winter illnesses and made a call for citizens at high risk, such as pregnant women, the elderly, children under two and people with respiratory disease, to avoid illness by receiving vaccinations.

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