Doctors went on a 24-hour strike Thursday in Athens, called by public sector health care employees, followed by a rally in downtown.
Around 500 protesters participated, with demonstrators walking from Mavili Square to parliament, then to the prime minister’s office at Maximos Mansion and ending at the Ministry of Health.
Doctors and public health employees, including ambulance services and nurses, walked off the job on demands concerning compulsory vaccination, staff shortage and a long waiting list for booking routine appointments and surgeries, which in many cases exceed one year, forcing patients to rely on private health care institutions.
"The new National Health System aims to further reduce permanent staff, a further reduction in the number of beds with the closure and mergers of public hospitals and clinics, as well as further cuts to services provided to patients, such as drugs, treatments and diagnostic exams,” the union said in a statement.
The union’s demands are for the government to spend more on the public health sector, extra staff and permanent jobs, as well as the abolition of a measure suspending unvaccinated health care workers.
Greece has been facing an increase in coronavirus infections that have reached more than 3,000 cases for several days, while over 60% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Greece recorded 3.407 new infections Thursday, raising total infections to 707,587, according to health officials. A total of 34 deaths were registered, bringing fatalities to 15,519.