Giving in to all nurses' demands 'would cost over €500m' - minister

By Paul Luckman, in News · 18-01-2019 14:59:00 · 0 Comments
Giving in to all nurses' demands 'would cost over €500m' - minister

Portugal’s minister of health, Marta Temido, said that current demands by striking nurses would cost more than €500 million in terms of extra pay if they were all met - something that she said it is not possible to do.

Temido was at meeting of the parliamentary group of the governing Socialist Party on a day that the government and nurses' unions resumed negotiations on the pay dispute that has seen a series of strikes disrupting healthcare services in several public hospitals.

"The road we have already gone along is a road that imports two hundred million euros just for this profession,” Temido said. “The path that they are now asking of us goes beyond the five hundred million euros in terms of effect on pay if all the claims were met. It is not possible to do it all."

This, she said, was "for various reasons", the first of which was the fact that the first obligation of those who govern the country being to meet the needs of citizens. In addition, there is a need to "ensure fairness between the treatment of various professions and sustainability in the long term."

Within those constraints, she said, “there is much willingness to continue to talk, to get closer, to do what the Portuguese expect of us."

Asked about the day’s talks, the minister would not provide "specific content", saying that it was necessary to wait for their conclusion.

On Wednesday, nurses' unions said that they had low expectations for Thursday's meeting with the government, warning that if there was no real progress then they would call another strike in hospital operating theatres by the end of February.


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