This strike was called by the unions that make up the National Federation of Doctors (FNAM), which also scheduled a rally for today at the Ministry of Health, in Lisbon, but does not have the support of the Independent Doctors Union (SIM), which demarcated from the protest, claiming that it is not justified while negotiations with the Government are ongoing.

The negotiating protocol established between the two parties foresees that the negotiations will take place until June, but the two unions have demanded urgent structural measures and better working conditions to allow for the retention and recruitment of more doctors for the National Health Service (SNS).

This strike was announced at a time when negotiations are taking place with the Government, with the FNAM claiming that the stoppage is a response “to the lack of commitment, on the part of the Ministry of Health, to negotiate salary scales and the lack of measures to save the SNS”.

In February, the Minister of Health, Manuel Pizarro, acknowledged that the doctors' strike worries him, but said that the Government will continue to negotiate in “good faith” and “quietly” with the two unions.