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Peru: Health worker rally in Lima kicks off 48-hour strike over working conditions

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Healthcare professionals took to the streets of Lima on Tuesday, with a protest heralding the start of a 48-hour strike demanding improvements to their working conditions.

Footage shows the demonstrators with banners and posters while they protest carrying a cardboard coffin representing the Social Health Insurance (ESSALUD), and which was then burnt. The group first rallied outside the Edgardo Rebagliati Hospital, and then held a march to the headquarters of the Peruvian Ministry of Health.

The strike was called by the Peruvian National Medical Insurance Union (Sinamssop), and was joined by other labour unions representing health workers.

“All the temporary hospitals are going to disappear in December. After December we will see the pitiful quality of care that our chronically insured patients will have,” said Teodoro Quinones, general secretary of the National Medical Union of Social Security in Peru.

“We invest less than $300 per inhabitant in health. However, Chile invests 1,700 dollars, the United States 9,000 dollars and in Europe, they invest between 4,000 and 6,000 euros”, said Godofredo Talavera, President of the Peruvian Medical Federation.

The Peruvian health system has been heavily stressed by the coronavirus pandemic and according to local media reports, almost 200 health workers have died as a result of COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, Peru had reported 808,714 cases of coronavirus infection since the outbreak began and another 32,324 deaths related to the disease, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

Video ID: 20200930-001

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