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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 30.05.2020, 11:37

Large number of medics demand fair funding for healthcare in a vocal protest outside Saeima building

BC, Riga, 07.11.2019.Print version
A large number of medical employees gathered by the Saeima building this morning to protest against the insufficient healthcare funding planned for the next coming years, LETA observed.

Participants of the protest heard colleagues' speeches and chanted various slogans. The crowd of protesters is so large it has almost blocked access to the parliament building where lawmakers are due to hold a sitting today.

At one point, Saeima Speaker Inara Murniece (National Alliance) tried to address the protesters, but the medics started to shout and whistle, making the speaker's words barely audible. Murniece said she was aware that the healthcare funding was insufficient but called on people to listen to each other.

The medics' representatives were invited for a conversation in the parliament. A meeting between Murniece, Finance Minister Janis Reirs (New Unity), Health Minister Ilze Vinkele (For Development/For) and the medics' representatives is currently ongoing. 

Many of the people protesting outside the Saeima building held posters with slogans like "Tired medics can be harmful for your health" and others. At the beginning of the protest, a coffin with the inscription 'politics' was placed by the parliament building.

A patient also address the protesting healthcare employees saying that without physicians there can be neither the people nor the government. He thanked the medics for their work, voicing hope that the people will support them.

The protest is monitored by a high number of police officers as well as Saeima security.

As reported, medics are staging A Day Without a Doctor protest on Thursday, with many healthcare workers, except for providers of emergency medical assistance, taking a day off from work to participate in the protest, which includes the picket by the Saeima building.

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