France 24, May 28, 2019
Emergency room personnel at several dozen hospitals across France staged a five-minute walkout at noon on Tuesday to protest against a lack of staffing and resources, which they say is putting them under severe strain and putting patients in danger.
The French system of emergency care “has reached an unprecedented breaking point”, says François Braun, president of the ambulance workers’ union, who issued the call last week for the five-minute walkout. Tuesday’s action comes as hospital closures and other cost-cutting reforms have provoked national concern over the state of France’s renowned public healthcare system.
In Nantes in western France, about 60 paramedics and other personnel participated in the brief work stoppage, reports AFP.
The momentary walkout marks the latest chapter in a strike campaign that began in Paris’s Saint Antoine hospital in March and has since spread to 65 hospitals across France, according to organisers. The strike remains largely symbolic, however, as emergency room personnel cannot legally walk off the job. Instead they continue to treat patients while draping their emergency rooms in protest banners, wearing armbands and emblazoning their uniforms with slogans.