It began with protests and suspended shifts, but also with normal care in some hospitals

He strike of the Association of Argentine Health Workers (ATSA), demanding a salary increase, began at zero hour this Thursday and will continue for 24 hours. For this reason, protests have been seen in front of sanatoriums, clinics and diagnostic centers since the morning, although in some healthcare centers the measure of force was not felt as much.

On a tour of Clarion, a disparate scenario was seen. Hospitals in communities such as the British or the Italian, where the strike had been announced, offered normal care. While in other places the measure of force was carried out and there were protests.

At the Díaz Vélez High Complexity Medical Institute at 4300, for example, scheduled shifts and surgeries were suspended. There they came to part of the staff is at the door. With posters and strike slogans.

“We are demanding the update of our salary. We are waiting for companies and the government to respond to our complaints. “We cannot continue like this,” he told Clarion Herman Lucero, who works at the institution.

At the Suizo Argentina Clinic, in Pueyrredón and Santa Fe, They suspended shifts and surgeries that did not require urgency. “We are concerned about the current situation with the adjustment. What is being claimed is an instance that was already agreed upon. And they did not comply,” said Nora Vargas, union delegate at that institution.


What will happen to the guards this February 22.

Until noon, compliance was still mixed. Although the union spoke of good membership, what was actually seen was that there were institutions with normal attention: the Italian and the British were joined by the German. The Austral and the Favaloro Foundation also attended almost regularly.

“Faced with the intransigence of the business chambers, the ATSA Board of Directors decided to call a national strike of activities,” confirmed Héctor Daer, who is also co-secretary of the CGT.

The union leader also warned that the union will carry out “all union actions necessary for salary recomposition”, and warned: “This happens due to the lack of progress in salary negotiations with business chambers.

The strike of the Health union is carried out with disparate compliance. Photo: Fernando de la Orden.

The force measure is intended to clinics, sanatoriums, private hospitals and diagnostic centers throughout the country. In the City of Buenos Aires, public hospitals will serve normally.

Regarding the hospitals of the communities – British, Italian, German and Syrian-Lebanese, the explanation about normal care had to do with a specific issue. “An agreement was reached yesterday afternoon for a 31% salary increase,” they told Clarion spokespersons for the British. They explained that these institutions have their own agreement, different from the rest of the private clinics. “There was a negotiation and the parties reached an agreement,” they added.

For his part, Héctor Daer assured Clarion that -taking out those hospitals- “the rest of the entire private sector is unemployed. And the measure has enormous compliance.” From Favaloro they stated that only “surgical, Hemodynamics and gastroenterology procedures” are working. Clarion He was able to find out that there was tension in Suizo due to the measure, since there were some sectors of the clinic that opposed the strike. At Fleni, both the on-call, emergencies, spontaneous demand and scheduled surgeries function normally. The attention in outpatient clinics it decreased slightly due to the absence of some patients on their shifts.

Sources from community hospitals shed a little light on what the agreements with prepaid companies are like. “It’s a continuous negotiation,” they said. The system involves a chain of payments. “The client pays Prepaid, a percentage of that money goes to the hospital and after that part, the doctor receives a percentage,” they say. They also assure that the health system is in crisis. “The numbers are in red, especially due to the increase in inputs. The contribution made by the prepaid companies and the patients is not enough to cover the expense. The situation is resolved month after month with great effort”.

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For their part, from the Province of Buenos Aires they told Clarion what “the strike will only affect the private sector,” so the public sector will also function.

The strike of the Health union is carried out with disparate compliance. Photo: Fernando de la Orden. Posters in the Güemes sanatorium. Photo: Fernando de la Orden

Will the guards work?

ATSA had clarified that “the implementation of the strike will be carried out covering the minimum guards and attending exclusively to the emergencies“. And they added: “During the strike we will go to the establishments, but we will refrain from carrying out tasks and we will carry out visibility actions in the entrance hall or entrance doors. “In addition, we will offer minimum guard coverage, focusing on emergencies.”

“Prepaid companies continue to increase their rates, but they freeze salaries,” they had said from the union.

The strike of the Health union is carried out with disparate compliance. Photo: Fernando de la Orden. Posters at the Italian Hospital, where care was normal. Photo: Fernando de la Orden

And they added: “During the year 2023 our salary was 74% below inflation, the employers are playing to lower our salary in a context of unbearable inflation. “A salary recovery in accordance with the needs of health workers is urgent.”.

The decision of the health union was made almost at the same time that President Javier Milei’s decree on the deregulation of social works was published in the Official Gazette. The average allows workers under a dependency relationship to choose between the different prepaid and social works, with “free competition” between them.

The personnel grouped in the Federation of Associations of Argentine Health Workers. TELAM

Likewise, the strike coincides with the forceful measures that different unions began to carry out, which demand salary increases in the face of the advance of inflation and the devaluation measures taken by the Government.

On Wednesday, La Fraternidad, the union that brings together train drivers, called for a general strike throughout the country that was felt, above all, in the Metropolitan Area, where the most important lines were paralyzed. The general secretary of the union, Omar Maturano, did not rule out a new general strike of the CGT and other unions for the coming weeks.

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