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Striking health workers in Tabasco. Striking health workers in Tabasco.

Medical services suspended in Tabasco after 12,000 workers strike

Authorities failed to make a 50-million-peso payment to workers last week

All but the most essential medical services have been suspended in Tabasco after at least 12,000 health workers went on strike Monday.

The unionized workers, employed by the federal and state governments, began job action after payments to reimburse the workers for the cost of their uniforms were not made last Thursday as scheduled. The amount to be paid is about 50 million pesos (US $2.58 million).

The workers are also protesting a shortage of medications and other supplies and poor infrastructure.

Workers at specialized clinics and hospitals throughout the state joined the strike, leaving only skeleton crews to continue working.

Doctor’s consultations, general medical care and scheduled surgeries have been suspended.

Many patients went home due to the lack of care available. Typical was the case of a patient who appeared in a video on local media: the woman was transferred from the hospital on a gurney while connected to a ventilator. Her family was taking her home to care for her.

Health workers met with representatives of the federal Health Secretariat but no agreement was reached.

The state government issued a statement to inform workers that the monies owed would be paid and that the delays were not due to “disinterest” or “negligence, but due to the budgetary limitations of state finances.”

Source: El Universal (sp)

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