Panama Private Clinic Scab Strike

{mosgooglecenter}  Panama, Nov 29 (Prensa Latina) Five of the so-called private popular clinics in Panama began offering services to the population on Thursday under a government contract, to confront a 24-day medical strike in public hospitals.   The 5,000 physicians employed by the Health Ministry and Social Security (CSS) started the protest on November 6, initially demanding a 60-percent salary increase, termed excessive by the Executive.  

However, at the start of negotiations doctors reduced their demand to between 40 and 50 percent and a written commitment not to privatize the health system, but health authorities made any wage increase conditional on an increase in productivity and quality of services.


At that time talks entered their current deadlock, with the government setting a 16 percent ceiling of 16 percent.

Today Health Minister Rosario Turner reiterated that the Executive has no plan to privatize health services. However, she said they will negotiate with strikers again only after they stop the protest.