Doctors in Catalonia call off strike after reaching ‘in extremis’ agreement with Salut


There will be no more stoppages of doctors this week or the next. The Metges de Catalunya union and the Ministry of Health have reached a agreement tonight, after three days of intense negotiation after the strike of January 25 and 26 which brought thousands of doctors to the streets. So the union called off the strike which was also scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday and Friday throughout the public health.

Salut is committed to applying a series of “urgent measures” improve accessibility to the system, “optimize” the schedule doctors and “debureaucratize” consultations, as explained, around ten o’clock in the evening, the general secretary of Metges de Catalunya, Xavier Leonard. The union has thus waived the direct salary supplement on the doctors’ payroll that it has been demanding so far, knowing that these measures proposed by the ‘conselleria’ would already be accompanied by a series of “Budget Items”, said Leonard.

Until today, and throughout the six meetings that have taken place over the last few weeks, the main stumbling block has been well-being and economics. On the one hand, Metges of Catalonia, the majority union among doctors, claimed to put a limit to doctors’ diaries, while Hi opts for the self-organization. On the other hand, in addition, the union demanded a direct salary supplement in the payroll of doctorsexcept for the rest of the toilets, without going through a negotiation table. Salut has always opposed the latter, understanding that it was not legal, since it was necessary to negotiate. These two aspects have so far prevented the signing of an agreement.

But this direct wage increase on payroll of doctors was left behind on Tuesday. The final agreement of the union and of Salut goes through two large packages. The first, a negotiation table generate a dialogue between the service and the doctors and deal with questions of “organisation” and “care overload”. “This table is set in motion at once, in the coming days, and in its early stages it will meet at least every two weeks,” Lleonart stressed.

The second package are those “urgent measures” which include improving accessibility or reducing bureaucracy, among others. “These urgent measures will allow to diminish, For example, he most of the overtime, For his part, the ‘advisor’ of Health, Manel Balcells, who ended the strike because of “citizen assignment” what did that mean

Without details

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However, neither the union nor the “conseller” specified the details of all these measures. Neither party has explained how it will be achieved. this improvement in accessibility, this debureaucratization or this limit in the agendas. These are problems, they say, that will be solved in this negotiation table. But, according to Balcells, the agreement reached goes “much further” and will allow address “transformation” health system how “necessary” it is.

And this is necessary above all because of the lack of professionals, which will be more pressing in the years to come, when there is only in Catalonia approximately 9,000 physicians will retire for which there is no replacement.

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