Nurses from Panama protest with a strike against their job instability

The nurses of Panama yesterday carried out a 24-hour strike, without ceasing to attend the emergencies or the vaccination against covid-19, to protest against the delay in the payment of salaries and the unstable working conditions with which they must face the pandemic.

“Our assembly, for the most part, decided to initiate a 24-hour work stoppage while continuing to serve the population in key areas,” the president of the National Association of Nurses of Panama (Anep), Ana María Reyes de Serrano, told Efe.

The Nursing union seeks that the health authorities “leave the agreed agreements reflected in black and white” and that there be the “security of complying with the roadmap” for this, the Anep said in a statement.

This involves “from the payments owed, the hiring of permanent personnel and the provision of supplies for the adequate work in each health unit,” the union added in its letter.

The nurses have been denouncing since August last year the lack of necessary supplies and the delay in the payment of salaries by government authorities to the companions hired during the pandemic.

This delay is due to the type of contract, professional or occasional services for 3 or 6 months, which in many cases cancels the payment owed at the end of the service, a situation that they also report.

“Nursing professionals want better job stability. We ask the population to become aware of the magnitude of our problem, “Anthony Camarena, a 23-year-old young nurse, told EFE.

“Mr. President, honor the union agreements of 2015”, “a world without nurses, never”, are some of the messages that were displayed on the banners of the nurses as they walked the streets of Panama City, dressed in their characteristic white uniform, to reach the main hospitals in the capital and “verify” their strike.

This was also replicated in other parts of the country, as published by Anep on its social networks.

“We do not want any retaliation against any male or female nurse in the country who is participating in today’s strike, or in the last few days. It is our right, “Reyes de Serrano said.

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