NURSES FROM all over the country walked out for two days last week in protest against the recent increase in the age for retirement, which now stands at 65 years old. Unions say that this does not take into account the risks and heavy workload undertaken in the nursing profession.
On Wednesday (October 12), the Sindicato dos Enfermeiros Portugueses (SEP), the Portuguese nurses’ union, confirmed that between 80 and 90 per cent of nurses had walked out, a move that affected 75 per cent of Portugal’s hospitals. Meanwhile, at the Centros de Saúde (health centres), figures supplied by the SEP pointed to an adherence by nurses of between 75 and 80 per cent.
According to the Administração Regional de Saúde do Algarve, the region’s health administration, the percentage of nurses striking at Faro Hospital reached 71.43 per cent, while at Barlavento Hospital 84.15 per cent of nurses walked out. At the Algarve’s Centros de Saúde, the average percentage of nurses taking part in the strike action was 60.85 per cent.The strike began at 8am on Wednesday and finished at midnight on Thursday evening.