State hospital doctors, nurses, dentists and employees of EOPYY, Greece's main healthcare provider, walked off the job on Thursday to protest government plans to overhaul the primary healthcare sector.
Protesters rallied outside the Health Ministry in central Athens after 11 a.m. and were expected to march to Parliament as the blueprint went to a vote.
Unionists representing the healthcare workers argue that the reforms will “destroy” the Greek healthcare sector and lead to “indescribable difficulties for patients.”
The bill is expected to pass into law as coalition deputies have indicated that they will support it despite some reservations.
Democratic Left, which was the junior partner in the coalition until last June, announced on Wednesday that it would vote down the bill, which it said would “demolish” healthcare services and undermine any prospects for the sector’s reform.
It also slammed the government’s plans to put more than 8,000 EOPYY employees in a so-called mobility scheme of forced transfers and layoffs, “spurring insecurity and mistrust.”